Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Crémant production fizzes in Bordeaux

Published:  27 October, 2017

Europe’s love of bubbles has led to a spike in production of Crémant de Bordeaux, where the number of producers turning their hand to sparkling is believed to have doubled in the past three years.

As arguably the most famous wine-producing region in the world, Bordeaux is known for its reds.

And of the eight French appellations currently producing Crémant, Crémant de Bordeaux is one of the smallest.

However, there are signs that this could be about to change.

Reports from the region show that producers are increasingly broadening their remit to include Crémant.

According to Phillipe Debesse at major Crémant producer Cave de la Tour du Roy, the number of Bordeaux producers making Crémant has doubled from 100 in 2014 to 200 in 2017.

Sales are also on the rise.

The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur syndicate, which oversees the Crémant de Bordeaux AOC, reports a 75% increase in sales of rosé in 2016 compared to 2015 (8,872 hl) and a 46% increased in white (33,045 hl).

France’s current Crémant production of approximately 85m bottles year still pales in comparison to Champagne which produces 320m bottles annually.

Bordeaux makes only a small percentage of that - between 4m and 5m bottles a year.

But as Debesse points out, “we have started from nothing in 1990”, and says that the production capability is in place to produce four times its current output.

Including affordability and quality, Crémant has much about it to recommend.

It is made in the traditional method, with second fermentation taking place in bottle.

Grapes (which vary depending on the region), are hand-picked and must have a minimum of nine months lees aging before release.

The battle for Champagne’s prestige is still hotly contested, however.

“The Champenois think of us as enemies because we make wine in the same way and we believe our wines are just as good as those in Champagne,” said Debesse.

"What we are making is a perfect representation of the soils in Bordeaux, just as they are doing in Champagne. A lot of Crémant producers feel threatened by the Champenois as they try to take value away from our product. The quality factors are the same: grapes, pressing, temperature for second fermentation, then time to age.”