Cuvée is a term coming from the French “cuve” which means tub or tank. In Champagne, the cuvée is the first 2050 liters of juice that is pressed from 4000 kg of grapes during the first pressing. It is therefore the must with the best quality and in this context is also called ‘tête de cuvée’, literally ‘the best of the barrel’. The second pressing takes place under higher pressure and is called the waist.
The term cuvée is often also used to designate a wine assembled in a tank. This is a wine that can be composed of different wines from different grape varieties, vineyards or vintages (in Champagne for example). A cuvée does not necessarily have to be a blend, i.e. a mixture of wines made from multiple grape varieties.