44 Live: Growing A Sparkling Wine

Apr. 20, 2017

  

As with any Parallel 44 and Door 44 wine there are differentiations from those produced across the globe, mainly because of region and climate. While wine experts may recommend a certain grape varietal for sparkling wine, we always have a midwest twist. A few common grapes used in other parts of the world include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, for France;  Reisling, Silvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, for Germany; and Muscat (Moscato), Lambrusco and Acqui for regions such as Italy. In the P44 vineyard we’ve maximized Frontenac, Frontenac Grass and La Crescent for sparkling wine.

Typical growing parameters for adequate grape varietals are so similar to that of Champagne that winemaker Steve set out to stamp the upper midwest as a perfect region for sparkling wine grapes. Depending on the varietal, what you do with the grapes after harvest is an extremely important process. When a “white” or “rosé” hued sparkling wine is desired, red grape varieties should be pressed quickly, with minimal skin contact, and although full-cluster pressing is often preferred, if the grapes are in good condition, crushing followed by pressing should be utilized for efficiency.

NOTE: The “pink” color may also be added in the final stages of production by adding a small concentration of red still wine in the dosage.

From there, the wine is sent to production where a number of different elements and processes take place before bottling. What we know is that the Upper Midwest provides a more than adequate climate and geography for growing the necessary grapes to produce sparkling wine. And while no other region in the world can be considered “Champagne,” at Parallel 44 we believe we can rival the age-old name.

 

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