Champagne is held on its lees (spent yeast cells) for a prolonged period of aging in the cellars after combining and second fermentation. After the bottles have been aged, they are twisted (riddling, or remuage) to release any sediment that has formed. DEGORGEMENT is used to remove the deposit that forms in the bottle’s neck as a result of the riddling process. This can be done in one of 2 ways: mechanically (à la glace) or manually (disgorgement by hand).
Submerging the bottle’s neck in a -27°C refrigerating solution is the initial step in mechanical disgorgement. This forms a 4cm-long ice plug, which traps the silt. When the jar is opened, the frozen plug is ejected under pressure, resulting in minimal wine loss. Modern machines may dispense anything from 2,000 to 18,000 bottles per hour.
Hand disgorgement is still practiced today, but only for extremely small or large bottles, as well as very old vintages. The bottle is held upside down for a few seconds before being abruptly tipped back up and opened (with disgorgement pincers). To ensure that just enough wine is driven out to take its residue with it, a steady touch and a lot of experience are required. A capable cellar worker.
Importance of disgorgement
Champagne stored on the lees will keep for years due to yeast’s unique capacity to take oxygen for an extended amount of time (more than 50 years). However, a little amount of oxygen will inevitably enter the container during the DEGORGEMENT process. The champagne begins to age slowly after disgorgement, thanks to the gas that entered the bottle on forfeiture and the oxygen that continues to penetrate through the cork. As a result, with an incurred as a result date, the consumer knows more details about the champagne’s true maturity, when it started the aging process, and also how much life it has left.
As a result, the disgorgement data contains a wealth of information. It may be the only way to figure out how old something is.
Process Of disgorgement
- Disgorgement occurs toward the end of the secondary fermentation. it is stated below how it works:
- The foundation is laid by yeast cells and sugar. After the first generation, winemakers add sugar and fermentation cells to the still wine, then stack the bottle horizontally to start the secondary fermentation, which leads to disgorgement.
- Yeast generates sediment. The sugar is metabolized by the yeast, which creates carbon dioxide. When the yeast loses out of carbohydrates to eat, the dies and leaves behind lees, sediment. “Aging on the lees” refers to the period the wine spends in the bottle with the sediment.
- To settle fermentation in the neck, wine bottles are inverted. The bottles are then turned upside down to assist the lees to accumulate in the bottle’s neck.
- Producers disgorge the lees either mechanically or manually. Producers can either remove the lees mechanically or manually once they have settled. The bottle’s neck is immersed in a cooling solution, the bottle is rotated upright, the cork is removed, and extra pressure ejects the freezing sediment in mechanical disgorgement.
So, let’s get started the with disgorgement procedure and look at the most intriguing features in the disgorgement process.