The Sparkling Wine Specialists
The production of sparkling wine is one of the more complex ways to make wine. It requires specialist equipment, expertise and patience.
Kilchurn Wines offer a complete winemaking service from pressing and fermenting the grapes through to labelling and packing into cartons. We also cater for wineries who prefer to complete part of the process in their own facilities.
The grapes, which are typically hand picked, are whole bunch pressed in our membrane press. The high quality free run juice is gently pressed to settling tanks and is kept separate from the pressings.
Fining, Blending, Stabilising & Filtration
Wines may be fined with a selection of fining agents before or after the blending process. All wines are tested and treated, if required, for cold stability and sterile filtered prior to Tirage bottling.
Tirage Bottling & Secondary Fermentation
Prior to bottling, a specially cultured yeast and a calculated amount of sugar is added to the base wine. Once the required sugar concentration and yeast populations are confirmed by our laboratory, bottling takes place with a crown seal closure.
The bottles are stored in bins on their side and it takes approximately 4-8 weeks to complete fermentation. This fermentation increases the wine's alcohol by approximately 1% and the carbon dioxide produced creates approximately 6 atmospheres of pressure inside the bottle.
The wine remains in storage under cool and constant conditions, with the yeast sediment remaining in the bottle, the wine now referred to as being 'on lees'.
The maturation period depends on our client's wishes, but typically lasts for at least 9 months (the required period for the wine to be called 'traditional method' under Australian labelling laws).
During this time the wine matures and develops flavour and aroma from the yeast. Extended maturation time in contact with the lees may result in finer bubbles being produced.
continue to: Riddling & Disgorging
Fermentation typically takes place in stainless steel tanks using selected specialised
The wines, now referred to as 'base wines' are typically stored in stainless steel tanks after fermentation, but may also be stored in old oak if preferred by the client. Base wines can be put through full, partial or zero malolactic fermentation as desired.