TRADITIONELLE : a 2 part process
1) initial bottling + fermentation of grapes
add yeast & sugar => Co2 (bubbles). bubbles disappear over time when wine is ready
2) wine is transferred to new bottles
add yeast & sugar => Co2. stored and rotated in a celler 3-6 months, up to 9 yrs for very complex taste
NOTE: Brut, Extra Brut, and Demi-Sec indicate the amount of sugar added
(at the end)
– bottles must be rotated and shook on an angular rack every 2 weeks or so, to encourage yeast waste to travel towards head of bottle
-once bottle has completely shifted all waste to head, bottles are removed from cellar and neck is stuck in an ice bucket to freeze the waste
-bottles are uncorked, yeast waste cube plops out
-aged champagne of determined variety (brut, demi-sec, etc) is added to top off each bottle.
-no more bottles -> large barrels
-no more humans -> rotation by machine
-single-estate producers & small farms use only grapes grown on their vineyard. large producers, such as veuve-cliquot mix and match purchases/ batches from theirs and surrounding crop/harvest.
-cava & prosecco do not even go through the 2 steps (barrel -> barrel + yeast, sugar & rotation) they are simply injected with bubbles!
Single Estate / Small Vineyards Using Alternate Methods:
“I Clivi” from Robola grapes (Friuli)
use only grapes grown and harvested on vineyard. wine is young, corked within the 1st step, with no additional rotation. so although they do not use the traditional method, they do not blend or mix grapes or locations, which lends itself to more elegant flavors in each year’s batch.