Flashcards in C41 - Sparkling Wine Production Deck (110)
What are the three main requirements when it comes to grapes for sparkling wine?
Grapes should have low sugar levels
High acid levels are desirable
Flavours should be ripe enough not to have green, herbaceous flavours
Why should sparkling grapes have relatively low sugar levels?
As the secondary fermentation adds 1.2 to 1.3% abv
What range of alcohol will sparkling wine-makers aim for when making their still base wines?
10 - 11% abv
Why are high acid levels desired for sparkling wines?
Many sparkling wines are made in a refreshing style
Which kinds of regions are best for growing grapes for sparkling wines?
Why are cool regions best for grapes for sparkling wines?
Changes to sugar and acid levels happen slowly and at the same time as changes to the grapes' flavours
Why may warm regions be unsuitable for the growth of grapes for sparkling wines?
Sugar levels can rise and acid levels fall very quickly
What is the only option in warm areas when growing for sparkling wine? What is the risk/reality in a lot of these cases?
These grapes can be overtly green and herbaceous
Describe how grapes for sparkling wine may be picked and why
Grapes for the best wines are typically hand-picked to retain whole bunches of unsplit grapes
For inexpensive sparkling wines in warm regions, machine harvesting may be the most efficient way of picking grapes before they accumulate too much sugar and lose their acidity
What should happen as sparkling grapes arrive at the winery and why?
They should be pressed as soon as possible
Because avoiding the crushing stage will minimise contact between the skins and the juice
Describe pressing for sparkling grapes
It will be gentle to minimise the extraction of any tannins and colour (especially important for black grapes when using them for white sparkling wines)
What other than gentle pressing helps to minimise the extraction of colour and tannins?
The use of whole bunches during pressing
How does pressing sparkling grapes come into the field of law?
In most EU regions, legislation determines the maximum pressure that can be used during pressing and he amount of juice that can be extracted from the grapes
How many methods of sparkling wine production are there? What are they?
What will determine the sparkling method which is employed by winemakers?
In Europe this may be determined by wine law
Outside of Europe, the method used may be informed by the style which is intended on being created, or the costs involved
Briefly describe the Traditional Method of sparkling wine making
It indicates a wine that has undergone a second fermentation in the bottle in which it is later sold
Which technique is often used to make most premium sparkling wines?
What are the main down-sides to using the traditional method for making sparkling wine?
It's costly and time-consuming
What is the big advantage for producers of sparkling wines made using the traditional method?
They often command the highest prices
What are the principal steps of the traditional method after harvest and pressing?
Making the base wine
Second alcoholic fermentation
Disgorgement and corking
Describe the first alcoholic fermentation for the traditional method
It usually takes place in large stainless steel, temperature controlled vats
Some producers still use oak vats or barrels for some or all of their wines
Describe the base wine for traditional method sparkling wines
It's usually completely dry with neutral flavours and high acidity
What must a winemaker decide once their traditional method base wine has fermented?
Whether the wine will undergo MLF and/or a period of maturation in oak before the second alcoholic fermentation
When are base wines used for sparkling wines?
Most are used the year after the harvest
Some are stored for use in future years
What are the principal functions of blending in creating sparkling wines?
To help to achieve the 'house style' year on year despite vintage variation
To improve the balance of the wine
To enhance the complexity of the wine
What are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir respectively believed to bring to a sparkling blend?
Chardonnay: Citrus fruit, finesse and longevity
Pinot Noir: Aromas/flavours of red fruit and more body
How may old reserve wines help to add complexity to a sparkling wine blend?
They can bring flavours of dried fruit to the blend
How may a broader texture and spicy flavours be added to a wine for sparkling wine?
By blending in wines that have been matured in oak
How may blending options be broadened for making sparkling wines?
Grapes are often fermented in many different small parcels