Every VAUX sparkling wine begins with work in the vineyard. From pruning in winter and bud break in spring and on to grape harvest in autumn — this is where the foundation is laid for our sparkling wine base wine. Our team works with tremendous intuition, precision, and an infallible sense of timing, all essentials for establishing optimal conditions for our sparkling wine base wine. Alongside the cultivation of our own vineyards in Geisenheim, we buy in grapes for our sparkling wine from partner growers in Pfalz and Rheinhessen. Ongoing feedback and long-term partnerships lay the ideal foundation for our sparkling wine base wines.
The BASIC WINE is the basis
BASIC WINE Preparation
Once the grapes have been harvested, the action moves to the cellar and preparation of the base wine begins. Each VAUX sparkling wine is unique, and thus each base wine also requires tremendous attention and care. The most important part is the assemblage, which relies on masterful blending based on the nuances of the many varieties and batches. We give special focus to our réserve range, which demands fermentation of the base wine in small or large wooden barrels and in stainless steel tanks.
Once the base wines are prepared, they are filled into the same bottles that will serve as their permanent homes. To ensure that the sekt corks are under pressure, a tirage dose is added to the base wines. The liqueur de tirage, comprised of sparkling wine yeast and sugar, delivers the secondary fermentation in the bottle. Our sparkling wine mature for 18 to 60 months on the lees, well beyond the nine month minimum legally mandated for the traditional method. The extended lees contact guarantees extraordinary sparkling wine aromas and a fine mousse.
the SPARKLING WINE MAKING needs love and time
To end up with a brilliant and effervescent sparkling wine, the second fermentation and bottle maturation must be followed by the removal of the yeast deposits. This is achieved through a process known as “riddling.” Whether by hand or by machine, the idea is the same: the yeast deposits are brought into the neck of the bottle. That collected yeast in the upper part of the bottle is then briefly iced. Using a disgorging key, the bottle is opened and the ice plug (with the yeast trapped inside) is ejected from the bottle at roughly 5 to 6 bar. Voilà!
Before the champagne cork and agraffe finally seal the bottles, the sparkling wine is given its desired flavor by the addition of the shipping dosage, a liqueur of wine and sugar. Traditionally, our sparkling wines are all “Brut”, meaning they have no more than 12 g/l of residual sugar. In order to create the perfect taste experience, a dosage test is performed first to decide exactly how much residual sugar each sparkling wine should receive.
Then, after many laborious steps, the sparkling wine is finally ready and waiting to be opened and drunk.
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