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27 Mar

Differences between the Classic Method and the Charmat Method

The wonderful world of bubbles is extremely varied, rich in nuances and technical terms that few know.
In this article we try to solve the question: what is the difference between Classic Method (or Champenoise / Crémant Method) and Charmat Method (or Martinotti Method).
First of all, did you know that the effervescence that makes sparkling wines so sweet is not a native characteristic of wine? First you make wine, then you give it bubbles.

The Charmat Method or Martinotti Method was born in 1895 from an intuition of Federico Martinotti, director of the Experimental Institute for Enology of Asti, but it was certainly some years later, in 1910, that the French Eugenio Charmat refined and patented the method of sparkling wine prepared by Martinotti.
This method requires that the fermentation takes place in an autoclave under controlled temperature and pressure conditions for short periods, produced from 1 to 6 months. Yeasts transform wine sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, that is bubbles! At the end of the fermentation in autoclave the sparkling wine is bottled and is ready to be consumed.
With the Charmat-Martinotti method amiable, fruity, not very structured sparkling wines are obtained, from the straw color to be drunk in particular at the time of the aperitif.

The Classic Method or Champenoise Method and spread in France in the Champagne region since the seventeenth century.
In a similar way the foaming takes place instead in the bottle with the addition of selected sugars and yeasts. The bottles rest in a horizontal position to allow the aging of yeasts, for a prolonged period that lasts from 18 to over 30 months. Spending this period is like making the riddling, or the rotation of the bottle of 1/8 of a turn with such inclination that it allows the slow fall of the lees towards the neck of the bottle within 1-2 months. Once the almost vertical position is reached, it closes on the lees under the cork through the disgorging or degorment: once the bottle was uncorked and due to the pressure the residue to be eliminated is eliminated; this is the way in which the lees are trapped in an ice cylinder that becomes simpler due to the pressure, without excessive product losses. Finally, after disgorging, the bottle must be topped up with the dosage syrup, called summer liqueur, made from wine and sugar or rarely distilled.
The Classic Method gives life to more structured and full-bodied wines, with richer notes mainly tied to the end and a finer and more persistent perlage.

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