The coquarde is the traditional press used to squeeze the grapes in Champagne. The coquarde has a vertical, circular or square-shaped fixed-basket with a capacity of 2,000 kg or 4,000 kg of whole grapes. A plate is lowered onto the grapes contained in the basket. The juice percolates across the press cake (the gâteau de marc) and runs away down the sides and base of the press. The press cake is broken-up with pitchforks between each pressing to bring the more lightly-pressed edges of the cake back into the middle–a manual operation known as the retrousse.

If you want to learn more about the Champagne terroir and production process, and about the best Champagne houses and wines, check out our extensive Champagne Guide on Amazon

« Back to Glossary Index