French champagne is a sparkling wine produced exclusively in the Champagne region of northeastern France. It is one of the most famous and prestigious wines in the world and is known for its fine bubbles, complex flavor profile and elegant style.
Champagne is made using a traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle known as the méthode champenoise. This involves adding a mixture of yeast and sugar to the wine, which produces carbon dioxide and creates the bubbles. The wine then ages on its lees, or yeast sediment, for a period of time, giving it a distinctive flavor and texture.
The Champagne region is divided into several sub-regions, including the Côte des Blancs, known for its Chardonnay grape varieties, and the Montagne de Reims, known for its Pinot Noir grape varieties. These sub-regions are known for their unique soil types and microclimates, which contribute to the distinctive character of Champagne wines.
Champagne is known for its aromas of apple, pear and citrus, as well as for its notes of toast, brioche and nuts. It is often enjoyed as an aperitif, or paired with light appetizers, seafood or cheese.
Champagne production is strictly regulated by the Champagne appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), which sets standards for grape varieties, vineyard practices and winemaking techniques.