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December 5, 2014

Vintage vs. Nonvintage Champagne

Bunches of purple grapes dangle from a vine.

You might have noticed that your bottle of KORBEL California Champagne does not have a vintage date. That is not unusual. Most champagnes are nonvintage, meaning that they are made using grapes from multiple harvests. The process ensures consistency in the quality and taste of the champagne.

A vintage champagne contains grapes from one harvest or cuvée (blend). Only grapes from the best cuvées or years become vintage champagne. It tends to be in limited supply, and therefore commands a higher price than nonvintage champagne. The Korbel Winery produces three vintage champagnes: Le Premier, Natural’ and Master’s Reserve Blanc de Noirs.

Vintage champagne is often aged longer than nonvintage champagne. For example, KORBEL Le Premier is aged the longest of the KORBEL California Champagnes. The 2008 KORBEL Le Premier, now available at our online store, was aged for more than four years. Such aging gives it time to develop nuances and complexities not found in other champagnes.

Toast Life