The majority of sparkling wines have no vintage. Every champagne brand has at least one wine that does not carry a vintage, and a small part of the production output goes into vintage champagnes. How is it that this type of portfolio is virtually non-existent in the still wine sector? There is no non-vintage Pétrus, Penfolds or Ridge. Has this something to do with the production methods or culture of sparkling wines, or what are the reasons for that?


2 Answers 2


Champagnes typically mix batches of wines from multiple years in order to attain a consistent 'house style' that is generally free from the vagaries of climate and location. Only in an exceptional year do houses put out vintage champagnes, so you'll notice that the vintages are usually non-consecutive.

Wineries, aside from cheap ones, generally use whatever they grow each year People expect differences between years, and there's a lot of cost in holding wine over in reserve.

In short, the culture of the sparkling wine companies is to have a consistent product while that's not true of the still wine companies.


"Bursting Bubbles" by Robert Walters is a very good history which covers this question in good detail.

The book is widely available to buy, for example here:


or direct from the publisher here:


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