Disgorgement – dégorgement in French – is the elimination of the deposit (dead yeasts) resulting from the second in-bottle fermentation. The deposit is collected in the neck of the champagne bottle during the remuage process when the bottle is turned upside down, and the neck is frozen in an ice-salt bath.
This results in an ice plug of champagne in the neck of the bottle, which contains the deposit. The bottle cap is then removed, and the pressure of the gas inside the bottle forces out the ice plug, leaving behind clear champagne.
Disgorgement is carried out on the bottling line just before dosage and final corking of the bottle. In the past, disgorgement used to be done à la voleé, i.e., manually, a complex procedure that often results in a greater loss of some precious champagne.