The local producers’ union UPECB (Union des Producteurs et Elaborateurs de Crémant de Bourgogne) took the decision to rethink the category in 2013. A tasting of 'Les Eminents de Bourgogne' took place in March in Dijon as a curtain raiser
The new classification system which means alongside the standard Crémant de Bourgogne, producers following certain rules will be able to add ‘Eminent’ or ‘Grand Eminent’ to their labels.
The standard version of the sparkling Burgundy wine requires nine months minimum ageing on lees. Crémant de Bourgogne Eminent wines must be aged on lees for at least 24 months. Grand Eminent wines must adhere to new rules
- Grape varieties can only be Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for white crémants, but up to 20% of Gamay can be used for rosé wines;
- 36 months of ageing on lees;
- Minimum alcohol content of 10 degrees;
- At least three months between disgorgement and commercial release;
- Dosage, or residual sugar, must be below 15g per litre (Brut);
- Only the first 75% of juice extracted during pressing can be used.
An estimated one in 10 bottles of wine produced in Burgundy is Crémant de Bourgogne. There are said to be 3,284 members of the Crémant de Bourgogne producers’ union, including growers, winemakers and merchants. Seventeen million bottles of the Burgundy sparkling wine was sold globally in 2015, of which around one third was exported. Production area is around 2,000 hectares and the wines are produced using the traditional method.