Just as candy is a huge seller around Halloween and Valentine’s Day, champagne is so closely associated with New Year festivities that producers should expect increased demand and make easy-to-understand labels to encourage sales. One of the factors that manufacturers can emphasize is, according to the Washington Post, the age of the vintage, or more specifically, the “disgorgement date.”
What is the disgorgement date, and why is it of possible interest to champagne buyers? As the Post describes, this date refers to the time in champagne production when the liquid has finished fermenting and is clear of spent yeast.
Not all producers list disgorgement, on the grounds that it isn’t required and doesn’t serve any real purpose for casual drinkers. There’s also no universal standard, as different vintners have their own systems for referring purchasers to this information, sometimes through codes printed on the wine labels themselves.
While this article suggests that collectors are the ones most interested in disgorgement date labeling, it could be worth it to make this information easy to find, as it may influence the buyer’s opinion of the beverage overall. In an article for Los Angeles Magazine, Jonathan Cristaldi gives the example of a specific wine called Franciacorta.
“Franciacorta is made in the same style as Champagne, with the secondary fermentation happening in-bottle and the date of disgorgement (‘sboccatura’) appearing on the label (on vintage-dated Franciacorta, a disgorgement date close to the harvest vintage lets you know that the wine can age, but a disgorgement date several years from harvest indicates it’s time to drink now),” he said.
Thoughtful winemakers will not only think about what’s on their vintage labels but how they place these labels on bottles for maximum recognition and effectiveness. A professional label applicator system is useful for orienting these pieces ideally and consistently.