In Champagne, remuage is the process of:

A. Laying bottles down so that they can age sur lie

B. Turning and upending bottles so that the yeast collects in the neck of the bottle

C. Freezing the neck of the bottle and then expelling the yeast out of it

D. Adding a solution of yeast and sugar in wine to incite a second fermentation


Toward the end of its long resting period sur lie, a bottle of Champagne must be rotated to loosen the expired yeasts that have accumulated during the second fermentation. Known as remuage in French or “riddling” in English, this process involves the gradual tilting of the bottle neck-down, meanwhile rotating it in small increments to collect the yeast sediment in the neck of the bottle. Remuage is still sometimes done manually, using a shaking and twisting technique practiced over centuries by skilled cellar masters. A good remueur (bottle turner) can riddle roughly 40,000 bottles a day. Done manually, remuage takes four to six weeks. Automated remuage is now much more common using a machine called a gyropalette that can riddle 500 bottles at once. When remuage is finished, the bottles are neck-down (sur pointe) and ready to be disgorged.

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