What is a pupitre a Champagne?

Pupitre is the French name for the hinged, wooden "A-Frame" rack used for hand-riddling Champagne bottles prior to disgorging. (Riddling settles the yeast sediment into the neck so that it can be easily removed by the disgorging step.) This artifact is reclaimed from France and acts as the base of the table.


Towards the end of their long resting period, the bottles must be moved and rotated to loosen the deposit left by the second fermentation and persuade it to collect in the neck of the bottle, near the stopper. This process know as "remuage" causes the sediment to slide downwards in preparation for disgorgement (the ejecting of sediment under pressure). Ref CIVC


 It was 1818 before the story of riddling really started. Legend has it that Madame Clicquot, prompted by an employee called Antoine Muller, took a kitchen table and had "holes drilled in it at an angle, so that the bottles might be set at different angles and be turned while remaining in their places." It was a worker with the House of Morzet called Thomassin who then put the idea into practice. The riddling table, forerunner of the pupitre, was born!