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how do we produce our sparkling wines?

Quinta de Santa Cristina produces sparkling wines since 2008 and they are all brut, which means they have a sugar concentration of less than 12g/L. To produce our sparkling wines we use the traditional/classic method.

The production starts with the base wine, which should have a good acidity and a low alcohol content. Our white sparkling wines are made from Arinto grape variety, our rosés are based on an Espadeiro and Vinhão blend and the red sparkling wines are obtained 100% from Vinhão grape variety.

After the vinification and the bottling of the base wine, we close the bottle with a metallic capsule and add a mixture of sugar, nutrients and yeasts, which is responsible for a second fermentation into the bottle. After the fermentation, we have a more alcoholic wine, gas – the typical sparkling wines’ bubbles – and some lees. Then, we leave the sparkling wines in contact with these lees in order to age. The Reserva sparkling wines stay in contact with the lees for 2 years and the Super Reserva sparkling wines stay from 3 to 5 years aging.

Ending the aging time, we put the bottles in wooden racks and it’s made a riddling process (from the French, remuage): we turn the bottles around themselves, a quarter per day, until all the lees are concentrated in the neck of the bottle so that we have a clear sparkling wine.

Riddling process

After that, it’s time to make another process, the disgorging (from the French, dégorgement): the neck of the bottle is frozen in order to remove the lees without being in contact with the clear sparkling wine.

At the end of this process, we fill up the bottle with the same type of sparkling wine, because, at the moment of the disgorging, it comes out some sparkling wine due to the pressure (around 6 bar), and, according to the classic method, it’s added the dosage, a mixture of wine and sugar that will define the sparkling wine’s sweetness level: dry, medium dry, medium sweet, sweet. As our sparkling wines are all brut, we don’t add that mixture. Afterwards, we put the cork stopper (the metallic capsule is only temporary), the musulet (wire around the neck of the bottle) and we label the bottles.

After 30 days of stabilization, the sparkling wines are ready to be commercialized and to join you in the best moments.

Quinta de Santa Cristina Super Reserva white sparkling wine

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