What is the Champenoise Method: How a sparkling wine is made

That is Champenoise method, and how a sparkling wine is made. This method owes its name to that they come from the French region of Champagne.
This method of making sparkling wines dates back to the time of the Romans, who called it vinum titillum.

What is Champenoise Method

What is Champenoise Method: How a sparkling wine is made

The method is that the second wine fermentation is carried out in the bottle itself. Before starting it is added sugar and yeast what is known as tirage liqueur.
In this second fermentation, the CO2 produced by yeast is not lost and is integrated with the liquid itself. This produces a creamy sensation, typical of wines made with this method.
This method of preparation is mandatory in wine making with Origin Denominations: Champagne and Cava.

The champenoise method. What is Champenoise Method

The steps that are carried out to be able to assign the champenoise method are:

Phase 1

Perform the traditional fermentation of the base wine: in this step it is allowed to mix red grapes with white grapes. The base wine can be a young wine or also a wine aged in barrels; it can be white, red, pink; or also a ‘blanc de noirs’, that is, a white wine made from red grapes.
Bottling of fermented wine: during this process, CO2 is produced and then released and will give rise to bubbles.
Add Run Liquor: explained above.
Close the bottles: the closure must withstand the pressure of the second fermentation.

Phase 2

Placement of the bottles: these are made on rhymes.
Move the bottles circularly: the objective is that no debris is deposited on the walls of the bottle and all the grounds go to the neck of the bottle.
Degüello: opening of the bottles to remove the sludge.
Fill the bottle with expedition liqueur: it can be another sparkling wine, must or a mixture of different wines.
Placement of the traditional stopper.

Production of sparkling wines

In addition to the commented champenoise method, there are other methods to make sparkling wines.

Traditional method

This method is practically identical to the champenoise method. The differences are essentially in the legal part.
The champenoise method is applied to varieties of grapes grown and processed in the Champagne region, and outside this region can not be called champenoise, although the processes are identical.
Such is the case of Spanish cavas, and Chilean and Argentine sparkling wines.
These carry the denomination of traditional method.

Transfer method

Originally from Germany, it is very similar to the traditional method with the difference that the fermentation period is only two (2) months.
Neither the removal of the bottle and the disgorgement takes place.
The bottles are emptied and filtered under pressure, adding the expedition liquor, and bottling with their pressure maintained during the process.
It is used in sparkling wines of lower quality.

Great Vas, Charmant or Cuvée Close Method

The big difference with the previous methods, is that the second fermentation occurs in tanks. Its fermentation process is 3 weeks, and have no contact with the lees (residues that are deposited in the bottom of the containers).
Therefore, they do not have aging on lees, nor aging aromas.
They are sparkling of lower quality than those obtained with the methods discussed above, but they are widely used to produce sparkling wines, especially if they are dry.
The sparkling Italians, such as Asti and Prosecco, are made with this

Ascentral Method

First method used in the production of sparkling wines.
Part of a base wine with half fermented wines. The residual sugar re-ferments in the bottle itself, which will provide the carbon to the beverage.

Rural Method

Based on the Ascentral method, the fermentation in the bottle is 4 months.
Subsequently the lees are eliminated and no expedition liquor is added, trying to maintain the own sweetness that is very high.
It is used in the regions of Dioise (France), and Piedmont (Italy).

Method Campagnoise-Milispark

Devised by a Spaniard, it is very similar to the traditional method. The difference is that in the second fermentation, a cartridge is introduced into the bottle with the sugars that will make the fermentation.
The cartridge does not allow the yeasts to leave, which is easier to remove later.
It is used to make sparkling young people, having achieved good results.
Continuous Method h4
Similar to the Gran Vas, Charmant or Cuvée Close method, it uses large deposits to achieve the second fermentation.
All these methods are used in the production of sparkling wines, which has nothing to do with the carbonation methods that are used for the production of gasified wines, with added pressures, and not by second fermentation.

Types of grapes used

There are several varieties of grapes that are used for the production of sparkling wines, but the most used are:
Chardonnay: it is a white grape
Pinot Noir: it is an ink grape of white pulp
Pinot Meunier: it is also an ink grape of white pulp
Most often, chardonnay and pinot noir are used, in 60/40 proportions.
The Blanc de Blanc champagnes are 100% made with chardonnay grapes.
Champagne Blanc de Noir, is made with grapes of the Pinot Noir 100% variety

Article written by JJ Duró

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