Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Bouzy village keeps wine tradition alive in Champagne

The town’s vignerons mostly grow grapes destined for the more lucrative bubbly drink, but set aside some to produce a rare still red that was served at royal coronations in France

By Alain Julien  /  AFP, Bouzy, France

The rewards are not as great as those from making champagne, but, with only 45,000 bottles of Bouzy Rouge produced in a good year, producers can count on a rarity factor and that fabulous name to help secure a decent price for their output. The reds typically retail in France for about 20 euros (US$27) a bottle.

Bouzy is the best-known, but by no means the only, Champagne village to produce still wine. Upmarket brand Bollinger notably makes a celebrated boutique wine, La Cote aux enfants, from a one-hectare parcel of land in Ay.

In all, about 100,000 bottles of still wine are produced each year in the area authorized for champagne production — a mere splash in the lake of the 308 million bottles of fizz that the region turned out last year.

The bulk of the still wine produced in Bouzy is sold as is, but some also goes into the manufacture of pink champagne, which is currently enjoying a mini-boom in popularity and now accounts for 10 percent of all champagne sales.

It is the only French rose wine allowed to be made by blending red and white wines.

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