A little bit of history
It’s hard to speak of bubbles without mentioning Champagne! So let’s start with its origin: History has it that Dom Pérignon, Benedictine monk of the abbey Hautvillers in the department Marne is the father of Champagne.
Dom Pérignon was responsible for the the expenses for food & drinks and the cellar, i.e. the vineyard and the press of the abbey. He discovered that during winter the young wines stored in the cellar started to sparkle in spring. It was in fact the cold that stopped the fermentation of the wine.
As soon as temperatures rose again, the dormant yeast started to ferment afresh, releasing carbon dioxide. And thus, sparkling wine was born. Even though there is some disagreement about the origin of Champagne, Dom Pérignon is widely regarded as the inventor of the second fermentation in the bottle, called traditional method.
The traditional method
Formerly known as the Champagne method, this term only applies to those wines which have undergone a second fermentation in the bottle. The first fermentation consists in making the base wine which is a dry wine. A part of these base wines is kept to be blended with wines of the following year: they are called reserve wines. If a winegrower decides to produce a vintage wine he exclusively uses base wines from the same vintage. After the base wines are blended, the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. The yeast dies (autolysis) which causes a deposit of lees to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Now the wine starts ageing on the lees. It is during this part of the process that certain flavours develop, e.g. grilled notes or notes of bread and biscuit. The choice of yeast and the duration of ageing on the lees contribute to the personality and quality of the cuvée.
Crémant de Luxembourg
Luxembourg produces sparkling wine since the XVIII century. In 1991, the Marque Nationale Appellation contrôlée Crémant de Luxembourg was created. The main grape varieties cultivated in Luxembourg approved for the production of crémant are: Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Luxembourgish wines and cuvées are frequently rewarded in prestigious international competitions: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Decanter or Mundus Vini, just to name a few. There is a myriad of bottles to discover in the Grand-Duchy!
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