It is common in most parts of the world to tag every wine that has bubbles, as Champagne. But is that correct?
Let’s find out…
According to the European law, the only labels that are legally allowed to bear the name “Champagne” are bottled within 100 miles of the champagne region in France.
The wine “Champagne” is named after the region where it is grown, fermented and bottled: Champagne, France.
For the sake of clarity, it is correct to say that all champagne is sparkling wine but not all sparkling wine is champagne.
Champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France and with about seven distinct grapes which are:
– Pinot Noir (most widely used)
– Pinot Meunier (widely used)
– Chardonnay (widely used)
– Pinot Blanc
– Pinot Gris
– Petit Meslier
…and some other regulations. Sparkling wines are not bound by the same restrictions.
Sparkling wine may be made with the same grapes as Champagne or with a different blend entirely.
In all, it’s best to think of Champagne in terms of a geographical place as opposed to a winemaking style.