A productive ritual that reaches perfection thanks to its slow and precise stages. Thus, when we uncork a bottle of Bellaguardia sparkling wine, the years of meticulous work can be seen in the cheerful vivacity and perfection of its bubbles.
The Classic Method is a process that requires plenty of time and very precise steps.
Here in short the phases and the names of the productive rites:
Cuvée: it is a blend of wines (often produced from grapes of different vineyards/parcels) from several years. If the cuvée is produced by grapes from at least 85% of the same year, then the sparkling wine is classified as vintage wine.
Tirage: bottling and "prise de mousse", in this phase the wine is conferred the characteristic pressure (visible in the bubbles) induced by the carbon dioxide produced by the second fermentation in bottles.
Remuage: riddling, after a slow and calm aging period of at least three years in our caves, the riddling phase takes place: the bottles are placed on special racks called pupitres which keep the neck lower than the bottom of the bottle; the bottle is continuously rotated to loosen the sediments of the second fermentation (exhausted yeasts) in the cap.
Dégorgement: disgorgement, it is the last phase of the process, it consists in freezing the neck of the bottle and in removing the cap so that the sediments are expelled pushed by the pressure. At this point the wine is topped up with the so-called "liqueur d'expédition", a dosage syrup made of base wine and sugar, sealed with cork and a wired cage.
Pas dosé, "zero dosage", these wines are considered high quality, because they show the great craftsmanship of the winery and are the sign of first-class quality grapes, in Pas dosé wines it is not possible to correct the wine. Pas dosé means and indicates a dry wine and, if we want, we can define it as pure. If you get used to drinking Pas dosé sparkling wines, your mouth will start to recognise those bubbles and it will not be able to do without. If we draw a comparison with coffee drinking,it should be drunk without sugar, if you want to taste the real essence. Apart from Bellaguardia Extra , all of Bellaguardia sparkling wines are classified as Pas dosé and no sulphites are added in the disgorgement phase.
The quantity of sugar in the dosage syrup determines the characteristics of the sparkling wine, from demi-sec to extra brut; according to the increasing order of sugar content they are classified as: Pas dosé (without sugar), extra brut, brut, extra dry, dry, demi-sec.
Millésime: vintage wine, this refers to wine made from grapes that were all grown and harvested in a single specified year. If it is a vintage wine, the year that the grapes are harvested must be displayed on the label of a sparkling wine. Vintage wines are made especially if it is the case of a harvest of grapes in an outstandingly good year.