January isn’t a time to be in the vineyards other than for pruning and nutrient application. However, in the winery things are buzzing!
2020 Blending Trials
On January 12th we conducted our blending trials for the 2020 vintage. This is always one of our favorite days of the year.In 2020 we sourced from 5 different vineyards and from 16 different blocks. Most all of these blocks had at least 2 scenarios of Wood or Stainless barrels creating the blending trials to be from at least 32 different variants.
Our goal in blending is to determine which block variants makes up our 2020 Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rosé and Blanc de Noirs.
After many hours of trials we feel the 2020 blends for each style are outstanding. Now they will be moved from barrels, to the blending tanks, to the bottle where they will go through tirage for a minimum 3
year rest before disgorgement, dosage and labeling. Expected release in 2024.
2016 Blanc de Blancs Disgorgement
On January 18th the long rest for our 2016 Blanc de Blancs came to an end. The final process of making bubbles.
The bottles were removed from bins and placed in wire cages where they went through the riddling process. The purpose of this to remove the “lees” from the bottle. We tilt the bottles on end so the lees gather in the tip of the neck.
The next step is disgorgement. We freeze the lees cap in the neck and immediately place the bottle through a process that will pop the metal cap from the bottle, the frozen lees cap is then jettisoned through the pressure in the bottle leaving the liquid clear and precise.
After Disgorgement ... Dosage (sugar) is added to the bottle. The aging process removes all sugar from the liquid so some level of sugar is added back to the bottle.
The bottle immediately moves to add the cork and cage which is the final process before labeling.
We usually wait one day for the bottle to be cleaned and dried before the label application begins. So January 19th we added the 2016 Blanc de Blancs labels and thus finished the journey. The 2016 will release as early as June 2021.