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Sparkling wine

Sparkling wine


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Classic method sparkling wine and Martinotti method

When we ask for a sparkling wine at a Wine-Bar or a Restaurant and we turn to a person with a minimum of preparation, we should be careful if a Prosecco or a Prosecco request is served to our request for a Classic Method Sparkling Wine (Champenoise) Martinotti method (Charmat) a Classic Brut is served. The bubbles that revive the sparkling wines are, in fact, obtained with two different methods:

  • Classic or Champenoise method, which involves the refermentation of the base wine in the bottle;
  • Martinotti or Charmat method, which involves re-fermentation in autoclaves, large containers kept in overpressure.

CLASSIC OR CHAMPENOISE METHOD
The champenoise method (called classic in Italy) was developed over three centuries ago in the Champagne region of France. We can, indicatively, distinguish the following phases into which the production process of the classic method is divided.

Preparation and refermentation in the bottle
A first fermentation of the must is carried out, obtained by the soft pressing of the grapes harvested by hand in boxes with great care and avoiding skin lesions, in order to obtain a wine defined as base. The varieties of Pinot Noir (without using the skins), Meunier and Chardonnay are used. This base wine is stored until March / April of the year following the harvest at low temperatures. We then proceed to an assembly of different vintages and varieties in order to obtain the precise characteristics desired by the oenologist, obtaining the so-called cuvèe. Once bottled, yeasts and sugars (draft liqueur) are added to the assembled wine. The rest in the bottle and the work of the yeasts start the second fermentation: this is why classic method sparkling wines are also called "wines with refermentation in the bottle". In fact, inside the bottle, the yeasts transform sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide by alcoholic fermentation: the alcohol that is formed enriches that already naturally present in the wine; the carbon dioxide that is produced remains in the hermetically sealed container and dissolves in the wine. Thanks to the long fermentation and maturation times, and a careful control of temperatures, the famous "bubbles" are obtained, which are nothing more than carbon dioxide: the smaller they are, the higher the quality of the product. The process by which carbon dioxide is developed is called "foam taking", as it generates the typical foam inside the bottle. Inside the bottle there is a triple pressure compared to that of a car tire: for this reason the bottles have thick glass (the classic “champagnotta” type bottles) and a crown cap is used.

Aging, rèmuage and disgorgement
Once corked, the bottles are stacked on special wooden trestles and for a period of aging that can last from 1 year to tens of years, for the production of the finest sparkling wines.
After the refermentation process, the yeasts go to death and then to an autolysis that will allow the release of substances that will enrich the aromatic component of the wine: this phase is called "rest on the yeasts". Inevitably, the rest of the yeasts will generate a deposit, which must be removed. Therefore, the so-called rèmuage or daily rotation is carried out: the bottle is rotated several times on its axis and shaken with great care, so that the residues collect in the direction of the neck of the bottle.
At this point we proceed with the "disgorgement". The disgorgement of the sparkling wine or degorgement is the elimination of the exhausted yeasts that, with the remuage, have gathered towards the neck of the bottle.
It can be done in two ways:

  • ice (à la glace): freezing the neck of the bottle and blowing the cork;
  • on the fly (à la volée): uncorking the bottle manually.

Addition of the "liqueur dexpedition" and denomination of the sparkling wine
Disgorgement inevitably causes a minimum loss of wine, which will be replaced with the "liqueur dexpedition" (shipping liqueur), a recipe made up of sugar, wine and other ingredients often kept secret by the various producers, which will give uniqueness to their product and which will allow to distinguish the sparkling wine between Brut, Extra Dry, Dry etc .. The bottle of sparkling wine is finally closed with the characteristic cork stopper held by a metal cage.

Denomination of the sparkling wine
The denomination of the sparkling wine depends on its sugar content: therefore, based on the type of shipping liqueur used, a certain type of sparkling wine will be obtained. In particular, we can distinguish (Commission application regulation (EC) No. 607/2009):

  • Brut nature, pas dosé, zero dosage: sugar less than 3 g / l; these terms can only be used for products that have not undergone added sugar after secondary fermentation;
  • Extra brut: sugar between 0 and 6 g / l;
  • Brut: sugar less than 12 g / l;
  • Extra dry, extra sec: sugar between 12 and 17 g / l;
  • Dry, sec, dry: sugar between 17 and 32 g / l;
  • Demi-sec, medium dry, sweetened: sugar between 32 and 50 g / l;
  • Sweet: sugar above 50 g / l.


Classic method or Champenoise (source: images.slideplayer.it)

MARTINOTTI-CHARMAT METHOD
It was the Casalese Federico Martinotti, director of the Experimental Institute for Oenology in Asti, who invented the controlled fermentation method in large containers in the 1920s, then adopted by the French Charmat, who built and patented the method: hence the double name, Martinotti-Charmat method.
The Martinotti-Charmat method allows to obtain sparkling wines, often sweet, with characteristic fruity notes, by means of watertight containers such as autoclaves. This method has found widespread as it is more suitable for the production of sparkling wines using aromatic or fruity vines. The grapes used can be those of the classic method, but since the method produces a wine with softer colors, straw-colored with a greenish vein, fresher and less structured flavors and less intense aromas, the most appreciated grapes are Moscato, Prosecco and Malvasia: the long pause on yeast typical of the Classic Method or Champenoise would harm the expression of the perfume of the wines derived from the aforementioned vines.

Preparation, re-fermentation in autoclave and bottling
Also in this case a still wine base is prepared, to which the draft liqueur is added; the wine is then transferred into an autoclave, that is to say in large hermetically sealed metal containers, where the refermentation takes place. When fermentation (at low temperatures and with a shorter duration than the Classic Method) has generated the optimal percentage of carbon dioxide, the wine is refrigerated, filtered, stabilized and bottled in controlled conditions of pressure and temperature.

Differences from the classic method
The fundamental differences with respect to the Classic Method consist in the speed of the production process (a few months), in the fact that the second fermentation takes place in a single autoclave and that all the phases following the refermentation, including bottling, are carried out under controlled conditions of pressure and temperature .

The production process according to the Martinotti or Charmat method (source: lorenzovinci.ilgiornale.it)

Bibliography
http://www.vinidelsalento.it
http://www.proseccoroad.com
http://www.trentodoc.com
http://www.quercialuce.it
http://www.gancia.it
lorenzovinci.ilgiornale.it


Video: Easy Sparkling Wine Made With A SodaStream (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Ramone

    I subscribe to all of the above. We can communicate on this theme.

  2. Dasho

    Thank you for the information. I did not know this.

  3. Mokatavatah

    Congratulations, your opinion will be useful



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