RATAFIA DE LA CHAMPAGNE
A ratafia is a “mistelle“ (comes from the Italian misto, which means “mixed”) a soft alcoholic beverage ranging between 15 and 22 pourcent alcohol, consumed as an aperitif or digestive.
The history of ratafia also begins in Italy and will spread everywhere where there are vines in Spain, France and Switzerland. In Champagne, ratafia has existed since the 13th century, being part of the traditional means of preserving the grape.
Since 2015 The Ratafia de Chamagne have the label IGP (Protected Geographical Indication).
AOP : Ratafia de Champagne
Grape Variety : Chardonnay
Domain : Patrick Soutiran (3ha)
Type of Soil : Clay and limestone
Density of Planting : 8000 vinestocks/ha
Age of Vines : 30 to 80 years old
Yield : 60 hl/ha
Features : alcohol 18%, contains sulfites
Ratafia is obtained by “mutage“: fortification by addition of strong spirit (Marc de Champagne, 40% alcohol) to fresh grape must, which prevents fermentation from starting and retains all the aromatic characters of the fresh grape.
The production takes place within twenty days after the pressing of the grapes used in the composition of the musts.
The liqueur undergoes maturation in tanks or barrels for at least ten months before vatting. Then it is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years : the ratafia is then considered “Old”. It is considered “Very old” if the liqueurs have been aged at least eight years.
The Colour : Champagne ratafia has a color ranging from straw yellow to amber.
The Smell : It offers aromas of white fruit, dried fruit, honey and fresh grapes with mineral nuances. With aging, more evolving perfumes appear.
The Taste : Champagne ratafia has fruity aromas, sometimes caramel on the palate and a good balance between sugar and acidity.
Serving Suggestions : As an aperitif, this drink perfectly replaces port to accompany your melon. Ratafia can also be tasted with pan-fried foie gras and blue or blue-veined cheese. During dessert you can taste it with a recipe based on chocolate and fruit. it is drunk rather cool but without ice so as not to dilute its aroma.