Mé́thode champenoise (French for "Champagne method") has been the traditional way of making Champagne since the 17th century. The monk Dom Pé́rignon is credited with developing this labor-intensive but oh-so-rewarding process, but in truth, nature and many other players were pivotal in developing mé́thode champenoise. More than 300 years later, it is still considered the best method of Champagne making. Here's how it works: A solution of sugar and yeast called a tirage is added to a Champagne bottle—made thicker than an ordinary wine bottle to withstand the internal pressure— containing a blend of base wines, which is then sealed and stored in a cool, dark cellar. Inside the bottle, the tirage reacts with the wine to create a secondary fermentation, which in turn creates sediment (lees) and carbon dioxide (the bubbles). Though the secondary fermentation takes only about one to two months, the Champagne continues to "rest on its lees" for at least another 18 months (and usually much longer) to allow it to develop more complex flavors. It is during this time that the riddling takes place, followed by disgorgement, dosage, corking, caging, and additional cellaring. By the way, a sparkling wine's label will say what method was used to make it; "cava", "classic," "traditional method," "méthode traditionnelle", and "Champagne method" are all synonyms for méthode champenoise. See also charmat.