Our new sparkling wines are nearly ready for release…
From 10th February 2021 we began disgorging our new vintages ready for labelling and release in May this year. Disgorging is part of the wider Traditional Method sparkling wine process which involves the following steps…
The Stages of Traditional Sparkling Wine Production
The first stage is making a base wine from our hand-picked, whole bunch pressed grapes. We typically ferment each variety and clone separately in our temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks. They are then fined, clarified, and stabilised. Some wine is aged in oak.
The second stage involves choosing which wines from which tank and barrel will be blended to create our different wines. We then bottle the chosen blend, or cuvée, adding a little yeast and sugar to allow a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This creates the bubbles in the wine as the CO2 is trapped inside the bottle.
The third stage is all about patience. We allow the wines to rest in the bottle in our temperature-controlled Cellar, typically for a minimum of three years, to allow time for the yeast to breakdown and impart these amazing flavours into the wine through a process called ‘autolysis’.
The fourth stage involves removing the yeast from the bottle. We do this by ‘riddling’ the bottles – moving the yeast into the neck of the bottle by turning the bottles slowly over a number of days until the bottles are standing ‘sur pointe’ (neck down). We then disgorge the wines by freezing the neck of the bottle. Removing the crown cap and the pressure inside the bottle forces the frozen plug of yeast out. We then add a little sugar, the ‘dosage’ which just rounds off the wine, (like a seasoning) then we put a cork in the bottle and a cage on top.
The fifth, and final stage is to label and package the bottles ready for release in May. We like to leave the wines for a minimum of three months post-disgorgement to allow the wines time to adjust to being under cork and integrate. Then the wines are ready for release and drinking.
To find out more about our Sparkling Wines visit our English Sparkling Wine page.
Over the last two weeks we have been disgorging of 2017 Classic Cuvée and Blanc de Blancs. It’s an exciting time for the winemaking team as we get the wines ready for release in May.
Some of these wines were part of our 2017 vintage Rathfinny Reserved programme, due to be released this summer. In the meantime, the 2018 Rathfinny Reserved programme is still running, but will be closing shortly as we are close to selling out of the allocation set aside of our wonderful 2018 Blanc de Noirs and Blanc de Blancs – please check out the website for more details.