In the same manner that malt whisky must be from Scotland in order to be called scotch, any bubbly, effervescent wine must come from the Champagne region of France in order to be called "champagne". This is not to say that sparkling wines are automatically inferior, they're just not French. For instance, Argyle Winery in Dundee, OR regularly produces world-class sparkling wines with the same grapes and through the same methods that would allow them to be called champagne had they been created elsewhere.

What makes champagne/sparkling wine so sparkly is the addition of a secondary batch of sugars to still wine that is already fermenting, which gives the existing yeast enough food to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. This procedure, known as Méthode Champenoise, produces tiny, long-lasting bubbles that are superior to other methods of carbonation.

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