What’s Degorge?

After digging through heaps of broken glass to find the survivors of THE HEAT WAVE, it was quality control time: basically this meant opening random bottles of the 1000 survivors. I tested for pressure and tasted to see if I could identify any unfavorable nuances.

To set the scene: I had proper Champagne bottles filled with a wine/yeast mixture under extreme CO2 pressure, sealed with a crown cap (the same as the famous old style metal Coke bottle closures). Under standard Champagne making procedures, the challenge would now be to remove all the lees (dead yeast cells), add sugar and replace the crown cap with a proper Champagne cork – a process called degorging. Whilst all of this is going on, your other challenges are to make sure you don’t lose one ounce of pressure (CO2) and that the Cap Classique remains in the bottle at all times.

Degorging is achieved by firstly putting the bottles into a rack at an angle of 45 degrees and turning them constantly in order to get the dead yeast cells to assemble in the neck of the bottle (riddling). This process can take up to 3 weeks. After successful riddling we would cool the bottles to 4 degrees celsius and immerse ONLY the neck of the bottle, upside down, into a (literally) freezing mixture. The wine and lees in the neck will then be frozen, and the cap removed. The pressure in the bottle forces out the iced lees, the addition of sugar takes place and the bottles are then quickly corked. The cool temperatures keep most of the CO2 in solution.

You then add the metal/wire cap and whalla! CHAMPAGNE ALLA Methode Cap Classique, the South African version!!

But…. of course – with THE HOTTEST CAP CLASSIQUE IN THE WORLD (unique in itself), this process is not executed quite as simply or neatly….

E-mail: pieter@blankbottle.co.za
Telephone: +27 (0)82 872 8658

Please note

Due to the many small batches of wines we make, availability changes on a daily basis. Please email aneen@blankbottle.co.za if you’d like to order any of our wines or if you are looking for a specific wine, and she will reply with a list of wines now selling. If the wine you are looking for is sold out, we could suggest some alternative excitement and/or we could also put together a unique selection for you.

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