INTRODUCING THE INAUGURAL SPARKLING ROSÉ
We are excited to share our inaugural non-vintage (NV) Sparkling Rosé with you just in time for the holidays. This limited-edition offering is composed of Pinot Noir (82%) and Chardonnay (18%) from our estate Margarita Vineyard. In keeping with French tradition, the fruit was crushed underfoot and the wine was made according to the classic Méthode Champenoise. The result is a luscious sparkler with a brilliant rosé hue and a bright, refreshing elegance.
Mike (Founding Winemaker) and Stewart (Winemaker) chose to use Methode Champenoise for our very first release of this intricate style of wine. This is a classic method of making sparkling wines & champagne that includes two fermentation periods – one in barrel, and one in bottle.
- First, we pick the grapes early, much earlier than our still wines because we want the sugars to be low and acids to be high. Sparkling wines are drier, higher in acid and can be almost citrus-like. We then brought these grapes into the winery, whole cluster pressed it, and placed it in barrels for the first round of fermentation for about a year.
- The next step is to instigate a second fermentation by adding a little bit of sugar and a little bit of yeast in a tank, which is called the dosage. After the dosage was added, we placed the mixture in individual bottles and crown capped them (think bottled beer). The yeast eats the sugar in the bottle creating the CO2 which remains trapped in the bottle. This is called tirage, and happens for about 6 months.
- At the end of tirage, the neck of the wine bottle is frozen with liquid nitrogen, (put on your safety goggles), the crown cap removed, and the plug of yeast to FLIES out! This is called disgorgement. A regular cork is then placed into the bottle with a cage placed over the top. The pressure from within the bottle, created by the CO2 makes the bottom of the cork expand. That is why sparkling corks look so different to still wine corks!
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT SPARKLING WINES
Q: What does Non-Vintage mean? A: Non-Vintage pertains to sparkling wines and champagne, as well as many fortified wines (Sherry, Port, etc.) It refers to a wine made from grapes that aren’t from a single vintage.
Q: What is the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine? A: The difference is the region it is from! A wine can only be labeled as “champagne” if it was produced in Champagne, France. In the U.S., we label it “sparkling wine.” Italy labels theirs as “prosecco”, as its produced in Prosecco, and Spain labels theirs as “cava.” However, they are all sparkling wines made from either of the two typical methods.
Q: What makes it a sparkling rosé? A: The amount of time we left the skins on the Pinot Noir grapes is what gives it the pink, rosé hue.
WHAT FOOD CAN I PAIR WITH A SPARKLING ROSÉ?
Family gatherings, picnics, celebrations with friends! Sparkling rosé pairs with any event. And food-wise, it is just as versatile to pair!
Complementary Pairings: Contrasting flavors in the food and wine
- Fried chicken
- Grilled lobster
- Lamb Chops
- Roasted vegetables
HOW TO OPEN A BOTTLE OF SPARKLING WINE
While this may seem easy, there is a proper technique to opening a bottle of sparkling wine due to the pressure within the bottle. It can cause the cork to fly and hit objects and people at very fast speeds.
To avoid this, here is how to properly open a bottle of sparkling wine.
- Place your dominant thumb on top of the cork — it will stay here the whole time!
- Find the tab on the cage and loosen the cage by untwisting the tab.
- While holding the cork and cage firmly, rotate the bottle of sparkling wine. Continue to do this, and you will feel the cork start to push up. There will be a slight release of pressure that makes a small fizzing sound — not a pop! Once you hear that, slowly lift the cork and cage out.