Not all sparkling wines are the same and the same is true of the processes used to make them. Different winemaking techniques give different characteristics to the end product and some are better suited than others to specific grape varieties.
The charmat method – the brainchild of Italian Federico Martinotti in 1895 but then patented by Frenchman Eugène Charmat – makes sparkling wines in much shorter time frames than those required by the champagne method.
The base wine is given a second fermentation in pressurised stainless steel containers (autoclaves) with added sugar and yeasts for periods ranging from 30 to 80 days.
Rapid fermentation like this is very well suited to sparkling wines made with aromatic grape varieties such as Spergola, Prosecco and the Lambrusco grapes because the aromatic structure generated by the lengthy periods on the yeasts involved in the champagne method is incompatible with the natural aromatic quality of the grapes themselves.
The long charmat method is a halfway house between the charmat and champagne methods. In it the wine remains on the yeasts for 9 to 15 months and mechanical agitators in the autoclave keep the fermentation sediments from settling. This produces wines with a more complex bouquet, more pronounced yeast aromas and a finer perlage. This is why we chose it for our 1077 sparkling wine range, to make more sophisticated and more structured sparkling wines. Tasting is believing.