Category Archives: Winemaking

Essence of the Rheingau

Regular readers of this blog will know that with my focus on blind tasting, I like to get to the bottom of ‘what makes a wine a wine’ and how a particular region is expressed in the wines that come … Continue reading

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Champagne: Method of Production

by Neel Burton and James Flewellen Following previous posts on the history of champagne and the geography of the Champagne region, in this article we cover the method of champagne production. ——————————————————————————————————– Like many sparkling wines, champagne is produced by the traditional or classic … Continue reading

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Champagne: The lie of the land

by Neel Burton and James Flewellen Last week’s post gave a historical overview of champagne. In this article we cover the geographical nature of the Champagne region including grape varieties grown. Next week we will focus on the method of champagne production. … Continue reading

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A brief history of champagne

by Neel Burton and James Flewellen Early sparkling wines were produced by the méthode ancestrale, with the carbon dioxide gas arising from fermentation in the bottle. The méthode ancestrale is still used in certain parts of France such as in Gaillac and Limoux … Continue reading

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Wine bottle shapes

Have you every wondered why a standard wine bottle is 750mL? Or why wine bottles are the shape they are? My curiosity was recently piqued by David Ling at Hugel in Alsace when he uncovered a few tidbits. 750mL is … Continue reading

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New World Traditional Method Sparkling Wines

This post follows my summary of European non-champagne traditional method sparkling wines. Traditional method sparkling wines are also made in many New World wine-producing countries. Much of the initial catalysis for these wines came from Champagne houses setting up off-shoots … Continue reading

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Traditional Method Sparkling Wines of Europe

The “traditional method” of making sparkling wine, so famously popularised through Champagne, has found emulation in many other regions of Europe and the New World. Indeed, some regions of France lay claim to a history of making sparkling wine in … Continue reading

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Champagne in a nutshell

My friend and colleague, Neel Burton, has posted excellent summaries of the history of Champagne, the geographical organisation of the region and the way in which champagne is made to his Outre Monde blog. Please use the links to reach … Continue reading

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Wines of Iberia

If you’ve read my previous posts on deciphering wine labels from France and Italy, you’ll have noticed a trend in the way wines from these two nations are classified. They are generally split into ‘Quality Wine‘ and ‘Table Wine‘. Further … Continue reading

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Champagne: greater than the sum of its parts

Champagne is a wonderfully complex wine. Firstly, the champagne-maker has the option of using a blend of three different grape varietals (two of which are black grapes) – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Secondly, the winemaker must take into … Continue reading

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