What is Sparkling Wine and Why Is It Not Champagne?

July 20, 2023
Glasses of still and sparkling wine

Today we will be discussing what sparkling wine is and how it differs from Champagne.

What is Sparkling Wine and Why Is It Not Always Champagne?

Sparkling wine is a carbonated wine that can be made from any red or white grape. There are three main methods of sparkling wine production: Traditional, Charmat, and Ancestral. Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that undergoes the traditional method of sparkling wine production and uses grapes only from the Champagne region of France. To be called Champagne, in addition to the grapes being from Champagne, the wine must also pass all qualifications by the Champagne AOC (the governing body for wine in Champagne, France). 

The traditional Champagne method is made with significant levels of carbon dioxide and undergoes two rounds of fermentation to produce the alcohol and the bubbles in the bubbly! The first round of fermentation produces a base wine and the second round is when the CO2 is trapped and produces the bubbles we all know and love.

The other two methods of production are Charmat and Ancestral. The Charmat Method is when wine is placed in stainless steel pressure tanks to undergo fermentation. This method is used for wines like Prosecco. The Ancestral Method is the oldest known method where primary fermentation occurs in the bottle making the bubbles from the first fermentation. This method is becoming more and more popular as the natural wine trend continues. Often you’ll find it labeled in the store as a Pet-Nat or Petillant Naturel.

Bubbles on the Rise in America

Bubbly wine has become a hot commodity in the market. The United States has seen a high demand for this specialized type of wine. According to Wine Intelligence, the wine division of IWSR Group, the number of sparkling wine drinkers in the United States rose from 56% to 72% between 2019 and 2022. 

Who doesn’t love a good glass of Champagne? The rise in this style of wine can be seen through the increased popularity of these wine-based cocktails. Mimosas use any kind of sparkling now and the trendy Aperol Spritz uses Prosecco. 

Health Benefits

There are some health benefits linked to sparkling wine. Downing a glass of bubbly at brunch just became so much healthier! It is good for your gut health since the rosé sparkling wines contain polyphenols from the red grape skins which promote the growth of good gut bacteria. 

It can also improve heart health. The skin of red grapes contains a specific type of polyphenol called Resveratrol. It is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and prevent the development of chronic diseases. 

Read more about the health benefits of sparkling wine here.  

At this point in time, we do not produce any bubbles. However, we hope this style will be in our repertoire soon! If you like Prosecco, Champagne or Cremant, try our Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc. It’s lovely, it’s crisp and it will absolutely fresh you!



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