Coming soon to Monte Creek Ranch Winery is a sparkling wine! We are doing an aromatic sparkling wine, using the Charmat method. With this method, the secondary fermentation (where the bubbles come from), occurs in tank rather than bottle (which would be the Champagne method). This is the same method that they use to produce Prosecco. We are excited to use this high-quality method and produce some great wines.
Was some of the above lingo hard to understand? Here is a great video by Whitney A explaining the basics of sparkling wine:
Each year we will be using a different grape variety to make our sparkling wine. This year, we have chosen to use Frontenac Gris.
Because Frontenac Gris is a highly aromatic variety, I think it is best to produce a wine that highlights those aromas. – Galen Barnhardt, Monte Creek Ranch Winery, Winemaker.
We pick when we begin to see some of the characteristic tropical fruit and apricot aromas in the grapes. We then aim for about 6 months en tirage, which means the time on the yeast lees (deposits) after the secondary fermentation is complete. Typically, the longer you leave it, the less fruit character remains and the more biscuit/bready/yeasty notes you start to pick up from the lees. With a more neutral variety, such as Chardonnay, that may be the style that you might opt for. However, with aromatic varieties such as Riesling and Frontenac Gris where you want to highlight the characteristics of the fruit as opposed to the lees, 6 months to a year is typically enough.
You can expect to see our sparkling wine in the market sometime in June. Stay tuned to learn what we are going to name it 😉