Process of Champagne Bubbles:  


The grapes for sparkling wines are usually harvested first. For a sparkling wine, we want a very high acid and low sugar.

Still Wine

Once harvested, we whole bunch press and create a still wine. Instead of barrel aging, this still wine goes through a different process.

Liqueur de Tirage

Once the still wine is created after primary fermentation, our wine is bottled immediately in a special glass bottle. This glass has the ability to hold 70-90 pounds of pressure per square inch. Once bottled, we add a liqueur de tirage. This “liqueur” contains sugar and yeast which will induce a second fermentation in the bottle.

We cap the bottle with a special cap that contains a bidule. A bidule is a plastic cylindrical item that will come into play later in the process.


Primary fermentation creates alcohol and carbon dioxide. Usually the CO2 is released when producing wine; however, because our future sparkling wine is bottled when the second fermentation begins, the bottle prevents the CO2 from dissipating. This forces the CO2 into the wine. We allow this bubbly wine to age at least 18 months in the bottle sur lie before moving onto the next step.


Similar to the CO2, the yeast used during the fermentation also has nowhere to escape. We let the dead yeast cells (lees) hang out in the bottle. The lees allow the wine to gain a depth and creaminess.

Although aging sur lie is great for the wine, it’s not so great to see these dead yeast in your finished bottle of wine. To get the lees out of the bottle, we perform a process called riddling. We slowly rotate the bottle cork-side down until the lees have traveled to the top of the bottle. Once at the cap, the lees are captured in the bidule.


When the lees reach the top of the bottle, we dip the neck of the bottle into a glycol bath, freezing the dead yeast cells. We then remove the cap of the bottle and the bidule containing the frozen plug of lees with it. This process is called disgorging.


Immediately after disgorging, we add a small dose of sugar liqueur (this time without the yeast). This takes our sparkling wine sugar level up to a “brut” meaning it is 6-12 g/L of residual sugar.

Below are the sugar levels found in other sparkling wines:

Brut Nature: 0-3 g/L residual sugar

Extra Brut: 0-6 g/L residual sugar

Brut: 0-12 g/L residual sugar

Extra Sec: 12-17 g/L residual sugar

Sec: 17-32 g/L residual sugar

Demi-sec: 32-50 g/L residual sugar

Doux: 50 + g/L residual sugar

Allthough this may sound like a lot, a bottle of cola contains 104.2 g/L residual sugar in comparison.


After adding the dosage, we cork the wine, add a cage, foil, and label the bottle. At this time, it is ready to enjoy.


Other Methods:
Charmat Method

An easier and more time efficient method of making sparkling wine is called charmat. A still wine is created, but instead of placing it into a bottle and adding yeast, the wine is placed in a pressurized tank. This method produces larger, courser bubbles.


An even easier way and faster way to produce sparkling is called petulant natural (pet-nat for short). Before primary fermentation is completed, winemakers bottle the fermenting wine. It is usually lightly effervescent and cloudy.

Champagne and MCC

Although our Untamed sparkling wines are made in the same method as Champagne, we cannot label our bubbles Champagne. France has strict rules regarding the appellation of Champagne grapes (for an example, they must be harvested and produced in Champagne, France).

MCC refers to Method Cap Classique. This is South Africa’s label for their “Champagne.” In order for a bottle to contain the MCC label, the wine must be produced in the traditional method and spend at least 12 months sur lie. Although our grapes do not come from South Africa (yet) our winemaker does! Our MCC reflects the method that Dane originally produced sparkling wine in South Africa and the method he continues to use in the production of our great Untamed sparkling wines.


For a traditional Sparkling wine:

For a unconventional Sparkling wine:

Purchase 3 bottles of more of bubbles and receive free shipping through July 7th with code: CHAMPS

Not sure which one? Come in for a tasting! Purchase a bottle of sparkling with us onsite and receive a complementary glass of your favorite bubbles.