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Vinification

The first step of the vinification is the harvest, it is done by hand only, this has many benefits. It respects the integrity of the berries which is a crucial point for the quality of the juices and it allows to keep the stem (Wooden skeleton of the cluster). The stem will act like a drain during pressing allowing to extract more juice with less pressure. Picking the bunch of grapes also prevents early oxidation of the harvest.

The harvest is pressed as gently as possible to extract in priority, sugar, acids and aromas and the juices we obtain (called must) must settle before fermentation. The juices settle naturally for 12 to 24 hours without addition of clay or enzymes.

The alcoholic fermentation occurs a few days later. During this step the temperature is monitored and kept around 17°c to 18°c to preserve the finest aromas. After this fermentation we obtain a still wine. A few weeks later the wine undergoes a second transformation called malolactic fermentation. Lactic bacterias naturally present in the wine multiply and transform malic acid into lactic acid. Lactic acid has a softer sapidity.

The must and the wines are sorted grape variety by grape variety and plot by plot and tasted daily by the family members during the vinification time. The blending or assemblage starts around december and will last until just before the bottling in april. Using base wine from several vineyards and, in case of non vintage champagnes, several years we achieve regularity in style and quality. Only the family takes part in the blending.

The bottling is done in spring, the wine will ferment again and the carbon dioxide from this fermentation will be trapped in the bottle. The yeast responsible for this fermentation will be trapped in the bottle too and will participate to the aging.

Champagne making follows a number of strict laws to ensure quality and customer renewed pleasure. Those laws affect vines growing, picking, pressing, aging time and much more. Those processes are even more strict by Legras & Haas the aim being : Humbly following the nature so that the terroir expresses itself at is best.

Examples:

- Selection of the first juices only (Cuvée).
- Natural settling.
- Low temperature fermentation.
- 3 years bottle aging at least.

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