Champagne is renowned the world over as the natural partner for any event where celebration, luxury and romance are the themes. What’s more, Champagne tastes fabulous, is a proven anti-depressant and its even good for your waistline (Champagne is in fact a mild diuretic!). There are very scientific reasons behind its expense and unique position in the wine world – so “Champagne” also makes for fabulous table talk and a natural sharing choice for appreciation by all sorts of different audiences and occasions.
Champagne is without doubt the world’s pre-eminent sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine can be called champagne. “Champagne” is in fact a wine style unique to the Champagne region and only produced from the classic varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier under the strictest possible conditions. The final precious product is a result of the combined effects of soil, orientation, climate and cultivation practices as well as history and commerce. This is the ultimate definition of the French expression “terroir”.
The term ’sparkling wine’ covers all other carbonated wine made anywhere else in the world. Inexpensive sparkling wines are often made from high yield, lower flavoured varieties such as chenin blanc, colombard, trebbiano and muscadelle. Medium-quality sparkling wines tend to be made from high yielding Semillon and Chardonnay grown in warmer climates.
The best examples of premium Australian and New Zealand sparkling wines are made from a blend of cooler climate, low volume classic varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Check out the local sparkling heroes from Tasmania, Victoria and Marlborough…