How is sparkling wine made?
When it comes to sparkling wine, there are a different methods used, which vary in a number of ways. We’re all familiar with Champagne, which has its own method called “méthode champenois” specifically for their wines. Although the name cannot be used outside of the this area, this same method is used to produce premium sparkling wine in other regions, such as Franciacorta, known simply as the Traditional method.
The Traditional method used in Franciacorta typically spends around 18 – 36 months on the lees. The key difference between this and faster methods, is that the secondary fermentation happens in the bottle (see diagram below).
Whereas wines like Prosecco can be produced much faster using the Charmat method. This secondary fermentation step is carried out in stainless steel tanks to speed up the process and produce higher volumes.
Both the Traditional and Charmat methods have their advantages, whether you’re looking for a mature, structured Franciacorta or a fresh and fruity Prosecco. Here at Italian Fizz, we believe both approaches are capable of producing some great wines.
Where does the fizz actually come from?
The fizziness itself, comes with the introduction of carbon monoxide, which can occur from natural fermentation or as a result of a carbon monoxide injection. This would depend on the production method used.
What is the difference between Frizzante and Spumante?
This style of sparkling wine can be easily distinguished visibly and can be identified by its cork. For Frizzante, the bottle has a screw cap or a normal still wine cork. This indicates that the wine has a slight bubble, and therefore the pressure within the bottle can be contained within this closure. Spumante however, can be identified by its mushroom cork. This is used because the pressure within the bottle is so high that it requires a stronger closure and wines tend to be more bubbly as a result.