Méthode champenoise is a process involving secondary fermentation in the bottle, as opposed to the charmat method, involving carbonation in the tank rather than the bubbles being born in the bottle. When the process of fermentation takes place, alcohol is created and by product of this chemicle reaction is Co2. That Co2 is trapped inside the individual bottle. After aging for many months en tirage, the wine develops gradually finer bubbly effervescence, flavors and yeasty characteristics.
The longer en tirage, the more yeasty the characteristics will be. After aging, the wine goes through a process called riddling in which the bottles are slowly shifted on a daily basis until the residual yeast, or lees, have settled in the neck. The lees are then frozen and removed in disgorging and a small amount of dosage tops off the wine. The level of dosage determines the sweetness and acidity of the wine. It takes a lot of effort, but also a bit of magic in how sparkling wine is made.
Each bottle is aged with the yeast still present in the bottle for 2 to 4 years. This softens the wine and adds subtle flavor and softens the wines texture.
Our bottles are riddled mechanically using a machine called a gyro pallet that simulates manual riddling on a larger scale.
The neck of each bottle is frozen in a liquid glycol solution. This creates a small ice cube separating the fermentation yeast from clear sparkling wine. The ice cube is removed from the bottle taking the yeast with it.