Deep chalk pits in Champagne used by Champagne houses to age Champagne. Originally dug by the Romans in 300 AD to source stones for building the city of Reims, these cold, dark, humid chambers are… Continue reading


The word Crémant is used for French sparkling wines made outside of the Champagne region, but nonetheless still made using the traditional Champagne method of second fermenation in each bottle. Important examples include Crémant d’Alsace,… Continue reading


Literally nursery, criadera refers to a layer of Sherry casks, all of which contain wine of approximately the same age and blend. Multiple criaderas—sometimes more than a dozen—make up a SOLERA.


The basic-quality wine produced by each BODEGA. Crianzas are considered every-night drinking wines. They are less prestigious, less costly, and aged for shorter periods than RESERVAS or GRAN RESERVAS. While national law stipulates that crianzas… Continue reading


A grape created by fertilizing one genetic variety of grape with another genetic variety that belongs to the same species. While a cross may be the result of breeding, most crosses occur spontaneously in nature.… Continue reading


Translated in English as “growth,” the word cru can mean a vineyard or an estate, usually a superior one, that has been classified geographically or by reputation. A classified cru is known as a cru… Continue reading


Used as a verb, “to crush” means to break the grape skins so that the pulp oozes out and fermentation can more easily begin. As a noun, crush is the general term used for all… Continue reading

Cuba de Calor

A method of making fortified base wine for inexpensive Madeiras that involves heating the base wine in large vats fitted with serpentine-shaped, stainless steel heating coils very slowly over a period of 3-6 months.


A segment of a dormant CANE 14 to 18 inches long that is cut off a growing vine and used to propagate a new plant through grafting or direct planting.


The wine from a selected barrel or vat (the term is derived from the French cuve, meaning “vat”). In Champagne, however, the word cuvée is used to describe a blend of wines. A Champagne cuvée… Continue reading


The building that houses FERMENTATION tanks or vats. The place where the wine ferments.


A sweet Champagne or SPARKLING WINE containing 33 to 50 grams of sugar per liter (equal to 3.3 to 5% residual sugar). Demi-sec is sweeter than EXTRA DRY, which is sweeter than BRUT.