gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 70

THE VINE Sparkling Wine By Alicia Cuadra W ho doesn’t love bubbles? Sparkling wines are the perfect accompaniment to celebration and consolation in strife. They keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and go well with a wide variety of foods. But how do those little bubbles get into the bottle? During the fermentation of still wine, carbon dioxide is released from the fermenting liquid into the air. If it is prevented from escaping, however, it will remain dissolved in the wine until it is exposed to oxygen again. This is, in essence, how sparkling wines get their bubbles. This can be achieved primarily in two ways; in the bottle, called the Traditional Method or Methode Traditionelle; or in a tank, called Charmat or Tank method. For the Traditional Method, after the wine has undergone fermentation, it is put into bottles. Before being sealed with a crown cap, a small amount of sugar, yeast, and nutrients called “Liquer di Tirage” is put into each bottle. The bottles are then stored with the necks facing down, and over time and with a bit of human intervention to help move the sediment, the yeasts will settle into the top of the bottle. The amount of time the wine is left this way, in contact with the lees, or spent yeast, depends on the producer and region of origin. Generally six months to three years, but aging “Sur Lie” can go for much longer. When the time is right, the wine is then “disgorged,” and the sediment from the yeast is removed. This is done by putting the neck of the bottle into a sort of freeze bath and popping the cap to allow the sediment to come out. The bottle is then filled with a small amount of wine, and immediately re-sealed with 70 the champagne corks with which we are so familiar. The difference between this and the Tank Method: in the Tank Method the second fermentation occurs in a large tank all at one time, and is then bottled. As opposed to fermenting each bottle individually, this method is much less time consuming and can produce some great wines such as Prosecco. The Traditional Method has been used for centuries in Champagne, France, where it is called the Methode Champenoise. Made mostly from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meuiner, and Chardonnay; these wines have a history, dating back to the 17th century. With the popularity of Champagne and the rise of California Wines in the 1960s and 1970s, it’s no wonder many American producers started making wines in this method and labeling them “Champagne.” However, Champagne is truly a protected name to be used only for wines from the Champagne region of France, and a labeling law in 2005 clarified this for consumers. No longer were new producers of California sparkling wines allowed to call their products “Champagne.” The caveat to this law was that producers that had indeed been making these wines and labeling them “Champagne” before the law was enacted could continue to use the term “California Champagne.” Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill is an example. Since they had been making Champagne-style wines decades before the laws changed, they could continue to produce California Champagne. Guglielmo routinely offers its “Emile’s California Champagne,” 䁙ٽɥє+qéɅ ٕtѠձѤ)٥х́չՔɅ́ѡЁɔ)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8)5I AI%0)ͥѕѱ䁑̸5Ёɭ)ݥ́ɔݥѠݥɽձѥ)啅̰Ѽѡͥѕи=)ፕѥ啅́́ѡ́屔ݥ)ݥѠ٥хєѥ)ѡ啅ȁٕи՝ɕѱ)ɕ͕ͥ٥хɭ)ɽ ɑ䁝Ʌ̰ѡ(5ѡ ͔́ɕ)ᅵݡЁ٥хɭ)ݥͅٽ䁉ե͕ȁݥѠ)䁅Ё͡䵱ᥑѥ)Qݥ́͵Ѡఁ)ٽٕ́ѡ̸)MɅéYɐɽ䁅ͼɕѱ)ɕ͕Mɭݥ)ѡ5ѡ ̸QɅ)ɔɔѡѡɕɅѥ͕) ɔձѤ٥х)Q́ݥ́Ёѡѡȁѡ)մ쁍ɥݥѠɔɕ͠х)́ѽեЁɅѕɥѥ̸Qɔ)ɔѥ́ѽЁɅ)ѡݥ́ɕɕ͡ɕЁݥѠ)ѕ̸Q͔ݼɭݥ́ɔ)ɕЁᅵ́ѡͥєͥ́ѡ) մ)$ɕͥɕձȁݥ)́Ѽɕ䁅ɕєѡɽѥ)ѥ́ٽ́QɅѥ)5ѡݥ̰Ёѕ́ɔոѽ$)ͼɕѡЁٕ剽䁑ɥ)ɔɭݥٕ́Ʌ ̸) ՅɄ́)]Սѽȁ) ձхЁѡ)5ѕɕ 丁M)ѥMȰ) ѥM)]%х)]Aɽͥ)܁ȁ)M])ͽ)M] )ѽ乍