Leslie Bloudoff
May 24, 2019 | Leslie Bloudoff

What makes méthode champenoise sparkling wine special?

Méthode champenoise sparkling wine is created utilizing the French style Champagne process. While only sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne, the technique utilized to add those beautiful bubbles to otherwise "still" wine is referred to as méthode [me-toad] champenoise [chomp-en-wawz].

We start out with Chardonnay grapes harvested from our vineyard in the rolling Clements hills. The grapes are harvested early, usually by the end of July, beginning of August, when the sugar level in the grapes [referred to as Brix] is low, generally at 18 brix [in comparison with the level of 24 brix for a traditional Chardonnay still wine]. We vintage date our blanc de blanc [white of whites, meaning Champagne made from white grapes], using only Chardonnay grapes from that specific year.

After the primary fermentation [when the grapes are crushed, drained and cold fermented], its time for our "still" wine to go into its permanent home--the bottle. When the wine is finished and deemed ready, a mixture of sugar and yeast is made [called tirage] and added to the "still" wine. The tirage is transferred to the bottling line, pumped into a bottle, and a small hollow cap [called a bidule] is inserted into the top of each bottle. As the bottle travels down the line, a crown cap [bottle cap] is placed on top to seal the bottle and allow the secondary fermentation process to begin. Each bottle is removed from the line and placed, by hand, horizontally into a cage, with roughly 500 bottles per cage. These cages are then wheeled into a darkened, temperature-controlled room.

And this is where the magic begins. The yeast in the bottle slowly converts the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Since the bottle is capped, the carbon dioxide has nowhere to go and stays inside the bottle in the form of those teeny, tiny bubbles. This doesn't happen overnight; in fact, it takes months, at least 18-24 months. Our 2014 Serendipity Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine spent four years in the bottle, and the result is nothing short of a taste of heaven for your mouth.

Serendipity has received multiple awards. Its fresh acidity is balanced with a smooth body, crisp fruit finish, and silky yeast character. Pour it in one of your favorite sparkling wine glasses and then, stop, take a whiff and watch those glorious bubbles. Those bubbles signify the exceptional quality of this product, and honestly, it never fails to deliver in both flavor and aroma.

Click on the link below and watch as we put our 2018 Serendipity into the bottle so that it, too, can begin its' slumber and ultimate transformation into a future award winning Champagne style sparkling wine. *Shhh... the babies are sleeping. But they're definitely worth the wait!



Time Posted: May 24, 2019 at 3:07 PM Permalink to What makes méthode champenoise sparkling wine special? Permalink
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