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.

French Crémant such as Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Bourgogne can offer good value versus Champagne and a different style to Prosecco. Decanter's Tasting team make some recommendations...

French Crémant
Crémant de Bourgogne from Cave de Lugny.

Try something new this Christmas...

The post French Crémant – Beyond Champagne appeared first on Decanter.


French Crémant such as Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Bourgogne can offer good value versus Champagne and a different style to Prosecco. Decanter's Tasting team make some recommendations...

French Crémant
Crémant de Bourgogne from Cave de Lugny.

Try something new this Christmas...

The post French Crémant – Beyond Champagne appeared first on Decanter.

French Crémant such as Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Bourgogne can offer good value versus Champagne and a different style to Prosecco. Decanter's Tasting team make some recommendations...

French Crémant
Crémant de Bourgogne from Cave de Lugny.

French Crémant sparkling wines can be produced in specific regions across the country, including the Loire, Burgundy and Limoux. The grape varieties allowed depend on each region’s production rules.

Crémants are made using the ‘traditional method’ – the same method used for Champagne where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. Grape varieties vary, depending on locality. Chenin Blanc dominates Crémant de Loire, while Pinot Noir and Chardonnay form the backbone of Burgundy Crémant.

Retailers have picked up on Crémant in a bigger way in 2017, partly reflecting the wines’ ability to offer value-for-money but also as a way of extending ranges of sparkling wine beyond Champagne, Prosecco and Cava.


Wines updated 13th December 2017. Recommendations by Decanter’s tasting team.

French Crémant sparkling wines to try:


Where in France produces Crémant?

Those wishing to use the term ‘Crémant’ in their region have to get clearance from France’s national appellation body; an often joyless, bureaucratic procedure that can take years to reach fruition.

The latest to go through this has been Crémant de Savoie, which was authorised by France’s INAO appellation body in 2014.

Seven other Crémant appellations already existed, and these are:

  • Crémant de Bordeaux
  • Crémant de Bourgogne
  • Crémant d’Alsace
  • Crémant de Loire
  • Crémant de Die (Rhône)
  • Crémant de Jura
  • Crémant de Limoux (Languedoc-Roussillon)

Can you age Crémant?

As so often in wine, there isn’t a hard and fast rule about this. That said, you would generally expect a good quality Champagne to out-live a good quality Crémant.

‘Crémants generally have a higher pH and phenolic content than Champagne, with low levels of both being crucial for longevity in sparkling wine,’ said Rob MacCulloch MW, in this response to a query on ageing Crémant


See also:

More Crémant de Bourgogne recommendations from Andrew Jefford

Vintage Champagne panel tasting

Wines to have with Christmas turkey 

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

The post French Crémant – Beyond Champagne 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.