Sparkling wines are produced with different methods:
The Traditional Method
Champagne. Cremant. Cava.
The Tank Method
Prosecco. Lambrusco. Sekt.
The CO2 Injection Method
Lower quality wines.
PressingThe selected grapes are pressed to release the juice.
Glera is the grape for Prosecco while Lambrusco is bot the name for the wine and grape.
First FermentationThe juice is transformed into wine (sugar is fermented into alcohol).
Temperature controlled tanks keep the must at 18C.
After a few weeks the "base wine" is ready.
BlendingDifferent wines (tanks) are blended to create a perfect combination.
Second Fermentation with Martinotti-Charmat method
The basic wine is mixed with sugars and yeast to start the Second Fermentation.
During the Second Fermentation bubbles are created and also pressure inside the tank.
The Second fermentation happens in steel pressurized vats called autoclave and not in the bottle. This is the major difference.
The Martinotti-Charmat Method creates a sparkling wine faster and cheaper. Faster means also that the bottle will reach the market sooner and the wine is ready to drink.
You obtain immediate wines, intended to be consumed young, fresh, light aromatic and suitable for aperitifs.
The grapes used for this method are aromatic: Glera, Malvasia, Bracchetto, Moscato, Lambrusco.
The cost-effectiveness, the ease and the immediacy of the product have created the success of Prosecco, Asti Spumante and Lambrusco.
Pressing separates the liquid (juice) from the solids (skins, seeds, stems).
By gradually increasing the pressure, the juice can be seperated into different qualities.
Alcoholic fermentation transforms grape juice into wine
The first fermentation transforms the grape juice into wine. Yeast transforms sugar into alcohol.
Most producers ferment in stainless steel tanks which gives the purest expression of fruit.
The second fermentation takes place in autoclave
The second fermentation takes place inside tanks, hermetically sealed called autoclave.
The second fermentation is kick-started by adding a blend of wine, sugar, and yeast.
The fermentation lasts from 6 to 8 weeks, while yeast consumes sugar, creates alcohol, and releases the carbon dioxide that creates the bubbles and pressure. This is called "Presa di Spuma".
Champagne is fermented two times. Once in tanks. Once in the bottle.
The Martinotti-Charmat Sparkling wine is fermented two times. Both in tanks.
White wine is fermented WITHOUT the skins. The grapes are pressed BEFORE fermentation.
Red wine is fermented WITH the skins. The grapes are pressed AFTER fermentation.