Stages of Sparkling Wine Production
Classification of sparkling wines in terms of sugar content (grams per liter)
- 0-6: Extra brut, brut nature, brut zero (absolutely dry).
- <15: Brut (very dry).
- 12-20: Extra dry, extra sec (dry).
- 17-35: Dry, sec (semi-dry).
- 33-50: Demi sec (semi-sweet).
- >50: Doux (sweet).
- In the 18th and 19th centuries, a bottle of sparkling wine could contain up to 200 grams of sugar.
Classification of sparkling wines in terms of grape varieties
- Blanc de blancs ("White out of white") is made of white Chardonnay grapes with a flowery aroma.
- Blanc de noirs ("White out of black") is made of red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes with the aroma of dry fruits, timber and tobacco.
- Rose (Rosy) is made of specially processed red grapes. When the grapes are crushed and pressed, their white juice is left to blend with black skin for a few hours and subsequently acquires a rosy hue. The juice smells like berries and
Stages of sparkling wine production
- Production of sparkling wine base and Assemblage. This production process follows winemaking principles for production of white wines (Chardonnay) and red wines (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).
- Bottling and secondary fermentation. Dry filtered wines are bottled, and the "liqueur de tirage" comprising sugar, yeast and wine is added. The bottles are sealed tight and cooled to about 11° Celsius.
- Aging on grates, yeast-sediment aging and complexity of aromas. Sparkling wines are aged for a period of 15 months, and Millesime wines are aged for 36 months in order to unlock their aromas.
- Remuage,wine clarification by moving sediment toward cork . The bottle is placed in an inclined position, bottleneck down, so as to facilitate the sediment’s gradual movement toward the cork.
- Dégorgement (Disgorging). The bottle is placed bottom up with four centimeters inside a salt brine with a temperature of minus 22°C. The sediment freezes on the ice and is removed with the cork.
- Dosage and corking, final aging. The bottling dosage (dosage de tirage) based on cane sugar and old wines is added. This determines the type of sparkling wine, which will be sold. After dosage, the bottles are closed with mushroom-
shaped corks, which are fastened with wire, and are left to age for several more months.
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