What is Vintage/Non-Vintage Champagne?

Non-vintage Champagne

To ensure continuity of flavour, Champagne Houses not only use specific grape varieties but also a blend of up to 40 different wines from different years. This means that if the harvest is particularly poor one year, then the flavour and quality of champagne is maintained from the previous harvests.

Non-vintage champagne is entry-level champagne but that's not to say that it isn't a spectacular drink. What non-vintage champagne does present is a more affordable, consistent wine.

Once blended, the minimum time non-vintage champagne must age for (in the bottle) is 15 months. The champagne we use for your personalised champagne gifts is aged for a minimum of 3 years which creates a richer taste and is softer on the palate.

 

Vintage Champagne

In contrast to non-vintage, vintage champagne (also known as millésime) is made from a blend of grapes harvested in a particular year ONLY. This classification is limited to specific years with a very high-quality harvest can be declared 'Vintage' and this status is determined by the individual Champagne Houses, with guidance from the Champagne Wine Authority, the CIVC.

The year of the vintage must be displayed on the front label of the bottle to avoid any doubt or confusion for the consumer. The legal minimum age of vintage champagne must be 3 years before it can be sold to the public. Often Champagne Houses will age their bottles for longer, with five years being standard for a millésime, and often much longer; Krug generally doesn't release their vintage champagnes until at least twelve years after the harvest!