The history of the Traditional Method dates back to the early 16th century. Although, historically, it has been thought of as a French (Champenoise) invention, the current thinking is that much of the Method was developed and refined in the UK...and mostly around the production of Cider! It involves the production of a primary must (freshly pressed fruit juice) undergoing a primary fermentation. The, then clear, Cider is bottled with yeast and sugar. The yeast eats up the sugar, creating a small amount of alcohol and a lot of CO2! 

The bottle rests for a few years taking on, what is called, autolytic structure. These are the biscuity, rich notes you can find in Champagnes. When ready, the bottle undergoes riddling. This is where the bottle is turned over a period of weeks to push the yeast into the neck. The bottle is then disgorged (removal of the cap and yeast) and a cork and cage are applied.