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Spot the difference: Tirage and dosage in Champagne – ask Decanter

Jan 11, 2018

(Decanter) - Ben Jenkins, Sidmouth, asks: What is the difference between tirage and dosage in the production of Champagne?

John Stimpfig replies: Both additions are key elements in the winemaking process for Champagne and all bottle-fermented sparkling wine.

Liqueur de tirage is a liquid solution of yeast, wine and sugar that is added to the still base wine in order to create the secondary fermentation in bottle. The amount of sugar determines the level of dryness in the wine as well as the atmospheric pressure in the bottle.

The dosage is the amount of sugar in the liqueur d’expedition (a mix of sugar and wine), which is added just after disgorgement.

This not only tops up the wine, it also helps balance the acidity and add sweetness – depending on the style (see below).


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