In winemaking, what is the traditional method used for?
The traditional method is the process used in the Champagne region of France to produce Champagne. It is also the method used in various French regions to produce sparkling wines (not called “Champagne”), in Spain to produce Cava, in Portugal to produce Espumante and in Italy to produce Franciacorta.
The method is known as the méthode champenoise, but the Champagne producers have successfully lobbied the European Union to restrict the use of that term within the EU only to wines produced in Champagne.
Grapes are generally picked earlier when sugar levels are lower and acid levels higher. Except for pink or rosé sparkling wines, the juice of harvested grapes is pressed off quickly, to keep the wine white.