Champagne is produced from wine grapes grown in the Champagne region in France. Champagne appellation law requires grapes to be grown according to appellation rules in order to be used in the production of Champagne. Most Champagne is made up of a blend of three different grape varieties. Champagne is categorized as either "vintage" or "non-vintage". The majority of Champagne produced today is "non-vintage", meaning that it was produced with a blend of grapes from different vintages. "Vintage" Champagne is made from grapes that are at least 85% of the same vintage. "Non-vintage" Champagne is bottle aged for approximately 15 months and should be consumed within 1-2 years. "Vintage" Champagne is bottle aged for at least 3 years before it is released for sale and can usually benefit from some bottle-aging but there is generally no improvement 10 years beyond the vintage date. The vast majority of Champagne will lose flavor and fizz after a couple of years in the bottle, especially if it is not stored in optimum conditions.
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