Crémant & Champagne: Are They The Same? Get to Know about in detail

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Most often associated with celebrations and parties, sparkling wines are the perfect beverage to share with friends and family during your next visit to wine club. However, despite the wide range of sparkling wines available worldwide, two seem to stand out: Champagne and Crémant. Both are a product of France and people often mistake one for the other.   You can also read about Sparkling Wine Awards.

So, the question remains – are they the same? 

Read on to find out and understand the main differences between the two. 


The main difference between Champagne and Crémant lies in their origin of production. Even though they are both from France, their productions are highly regulated and benefit from what is known as an Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) – a certification of authenticity, that is granted to specific geographical locations of wines. This certification eliminates winemakers who produce low-quality products from using the names and affiliating themselves with higher-quality vineyards.  

Crémant is a sparkling wine produced in eight separate French regions, including Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Jura, Limoux, Die, Alsace, and, beyond France, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Each region has its own restrictions and regulations relating to the production of Crémant. 

Crémant d’Alsace has explicitly had an AOC since 1976 and comes from grapes grown in the Alsace area. As a result, sparkling wines which feature “Crémant d’Alsace” on their labels are mandatorily bottled in Alsace. 

On the other hand, Champagne can only be produced in one region in France – the historical province of Champagne in the northeast of France. 

Production techniques 

To the untrained palate, both these sparkling wines are very similar, and it is not easy to tell them apart by taste. A substantial defining factor is that they are both produced according to the same method. 

Crémant and Champagne are made using a traditional method where conditions are created for secondary fermentation inside the bottle. Often called the champagne method, (or ‘Methode traditionnelle’), this method creates their famous bubbles. 

Another similar production aspect refers to their ageing periods. Both must be aged on lees, which are dead yeast cells leftover from fermentation, for minimum periods to create extra body, as well as the bread-like aroma often attributed to sparkling wine. It should be noted that, while similar, Crémant cannot rival Champagne when it comes to complexity. Premium Champagne is world-renowned for being one of the most long-lived and complex wines. 

Rules stipulate that a Crémant must be aged for nine months, although this does vary, and some winemakers choose to extend this period. Crémant does not age as well as Champagne, which typically requires a minimum ageing period of at least three years. While non-vintage types are only aged for twelve months, many well-known Champagnes are aged for much longer. 

Taste and grape varieties 

Even though both wines are made using the same techniques, there are many variations in flavour due to different grapes and climates.  

Crémant wines traditionally reflect grape varieties grown in their home regions, whereas Champagne solely uses Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. The latter two are black grapes that can be used in both Rose and White Champagnes. White Champagne will be predominantly Chardonnay. While Rose Champagne will have higher percentages of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. In fact, these grapes go through a process called short-maceration, a winemaking technique applied to light and medium-bodied wines to soften their tannins and bring colour to Champagne Rose. 

For Crémant D’Alsace, the list of authorised grapes is more comprehensive. However, if made only using one grape variety, it is mandatory to mention it on the bottle. Crémant D’Alsace can be made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois and Chardonnay. Alsace only permits the use of Chardonnay in Crémant D’Alsace. It is not used in still wine production in Alsace. 


Perhaps one of the most significant differences is when it comes to price. Considered a luxury for many years, Champagne is regarded as a wine of luxury and prestige. Therefore, it is often more expensive than other sparkling wines – including Crémant. The cost of the grape is greater in this region of France and results in a bottle of Champagne ranging anywhere from ten pounds, all the way up to hundreds and even thousands of pounds.  

The Crémant d’Alsace comes at all price points and averages from a ten pounds to around twenty pounds a bottle, although some retail for higher. However, that doesn’t mean it is of low quality. Many Crémant has been rewarded for their impressive sophistication and finesse. 

In Short 

In summary, Champagne and Crémant have a lot in common. Similar methods of production and flavour profiles can be found in these rival products. However, they are not entirely the same. Champagne must come from the Champagne region and be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Instead, Crémant may come from a wide variety of regions and use a number of different grapes, (depending on where it is made). 

Perhaps the most notable difference is in price point. Champagne is famously a rich person’s drink and reputable brands retail for sometimes eye-watering sums. Crémant is often at a far more competitive price. The lack of a ‘Champagne label’ alone can lead to a huge drop in price, but importantly, not quality. 


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