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SPARKLING WINES

Sparkling wines can be made through four different methods: Classic or Methode Champenoise, Transfer Method, Charmat/Bulk Process or Carbonation.

 

Classic or Method Champenoise is named after the process made famous by the French region of Champagne.  In this method the wine goes through the first fermentation naturally, then the second fermentation is induced in a sealed bottle. Being in the bottle, the carbon dioxide gas can not escape so it turns into bubbles. After the second fermentation the sediment is purged from the bottle and the wine has a dosage of sugar added to acheive the desired range of sweetness before being resealed. Most wines made in this way are dry. This method is expensive, and time consuming, but produces what most consider to be the highest quality sparkling wines.

 

Transfer Method is a process wherein the sparkling wine is made in large containers then transferred to regular bottles prior to release. Originally a cost-cuting method from the methode champenoise, it's rarely used today.

 

Charmat/Bulk Process is a method wherein the secondary fermentation takes place quickly in large pressurized vats, then the wine is pumped under pressure ino the bottles prior to release.

 

Carbonated wines are basic table wines pumped full of carbon dioxide, the same way in which carbonated soft drinks are made.

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