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Prosecco vs Champagne – Sparkling Van

What’s the difference?

What are the similarities between Prosecco and Champagne? Of course, both are sparkling wines.

Both are also permitted to make rosé sparkling wines under the respective names; although the Prosecco rosé category was only approved in May 2020.

Both regions have also been recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage sites for their viticultural heritage. The hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne around Reims and Epernay in 2015 and the region of Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, including the DOCG vinegrowing area, in 2019.

Prosecco vs Champagne: Methods of production

In both cases, the original still wine undergoes a second fermentation, creating the CO2 which makes it sparkling.

“The short and easy answer when it comes to the difference between sparkling wines is simple. Wine can only be called Champagne if it comes from the region of Champagne, France, whereas Prosecco is a sparkling wine mostly made in the Veneto region, Italy. Therefore, the simple difference is Champagne growers consider Champagne a “wine of place” that cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world. However, the method by which each wine is made differs significantly. The Charmat method used for Prosecco involves single fermentation in tank, flowed by a pressurised bottling. By contrast, Champagne is fermented twice with the secondary fermentation conducted in bottle with the addition of yeast and solids that provide the bubbles.”

 

““Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” — Dom Pérignon

Champagne is vinified using the méthode champenoise. This meticulous process consists of adding sugar, liqueur de tirage, and yeast to activate the production of carbon dioxide in the bottle. This results in a new alcoholic fermentation process: the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol and gas, thus creating the sparkling bubbles captured in a bottle of champagne.


Prosecco is vinified using the Charmat method, which is quicker and less costly. This second fermentation process, which turns the still wine into sparkling wine, is carried out in a closed, pressurized vat. Adding sugar and natural ferment to the wine produces carbon dioxide gas, which is trapped in the airtight vat, before bottling.

 

Champagne and prosecco aromas and notes

can be very different depending on the type of cuvée, the vineyard, vintage, and other factors. Here is a broad comparison that applies to comparable types of cuvées (brut or sec), which should not be taken as an oenological fact.

Champagne wines have a slightly more acidic, subtle, and complex aromatic signature, with aromas of citrus fruit, lemon and orange zest, white peach, cherry, almond, toast or cheese rind, and notes of white flowers, acacia, and cinnamon, or red fruit for rosés.

Prosecco wines tend to develop a fruiter, sweeter aromatic palette, with simple and generous aromas of green apple, pear, honeydew melon, apricot, honeysuckle, and even crème fraiche.

Simply the Best

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