Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

Two popular styles of sparkling wine, but each very different. We explain the main differences between the two….

difference between Champagne and Prosecco
What's the difference between Champagne and Prosecco?

Here are the key differences...

The post What’s the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? – ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.


Two popular styles of sparkling wine, but each very different. We explain the main differences between the two….

difference between Champagne and Prosecco
What's the difference between Champagne and Prosecco?

Here are the key differences...

The post What’s the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? – ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.

Two popular styles of sparkling wine, but each very different. We explain the main differences between the two….

difference between Champagne and Prosecco
What's the difference between Champagne and Prosecco?

What’s the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? – ask Decanter

Regions and grapes

First things first, Champagne comes from the Champagne region in France, and Prosecco from Veneto in Northern Italy.

Champagne can be a blend or single varietal wine made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Prosecco is made from the Glera grape variety.

Difference between Champagne Prosecco

Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter


See also: What to eat with sparkling wines – summer pairing ideas


Methods of production

The second key difference between these two sparkling wines are the methods of production; in particular, how the wine is made sparkling.

In both cases, the original still wine undergoes a second fermentation, creating the CO2 which makes it sparkling.

In Champagne, the method Champenoise or ‘traditional method’ is used.

This where the second fermentation happens in the bottle; yeast is added along with sugars (liqueur de tirage).

The bottles are left tipped, neck down, in racks, so when fermentation has finished, the dead yeast cells collect in the neck.

When it is ready, the neck of the bottle is frozen and the dead yeast cells release – a process called ‘disgorgement’.

The wine is then resealed and left to age; for non-vintage, it must be aged a minimum of 18 months, for vintage it is three years.

difference between Champagne and Prosecco

A bottle being disgorged

In Prosecco, the ‘tank method’ is most often used, where the second fermentation happens in a large tank.

Again, yeast is added, along with sugars, to the base wine. While second fermentation happens, the tank is sealed to prevent the CO2 from escaping, making the wine fizzy, before it is bottled and sealed.

Flavours

These two methods of production result in quite different flavour profiles for these wines.

difference between Champagne and Prosecco

How do the flavours differ?

The closer contact with the yeast in the Champagne method means that it generally has more autolytic flavours – bread, brioche and toast, as well as citrus fruit flavours.


See also: Tasting notes decoded


The yeast has less of an influence on the Prosecco made with the tank method, because there is less contact during the second fermentation.

Prosecco is more about the fruit flavour profile of the Glera grape – associated with pear, apple, plus honeysuckle and floral notes.

However, some Prosecco styles do also have lees ageing, or are made using the ‘traditional method’, generally giving a more complex wine.

More on sparkling wines:

The post What’s the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? – ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.


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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.