The main difference between vintage and non-vintage Champagne, is not that the vintage is old but that it is made from the grapes of only one year’s harvest, whereas non-vintage Champagne is a blend of different years’ harvest.
The Champagne Houses and growers provide a continuous house style through the blending of various vintages, to create the yearly non-vintage Champagne.
Whereas a good quality year, will produce a typically fuller, deeper Champagne, making it a vintage year.
Vintage Champagne must be made 100% from the year indicated on the label.
Vintages are generally produced three or four times a decade. This represents less than 5% of total Champagne production. Non-vintage Champagnes will be left to mature for at least 1.5 years, a vintage Champagne must be left for at least three years, although will often be left for longer.