Here, on the Just Wines blog, we have been working on a series of blog posts on sparkling wine production. We have already covered two major production methods of sparkling wine – the traditional method (also called Champagne method) and tank method (also called Charmat method). The latter is used to produce Prosecco, the world-famous Italian bubbly. Continuing this series, today we will talk about the transfer method of producing sparkling wine, which is often used by Aussie and Kiwi winemakers. However, since this method is very similar to the previously discussed traditional method, it is advisable to understand it properly first.
The steps of the process are the same till aging after second fermentation. Post that the contents of the bottles are ‘transferred’ to a pressurised tank (Hence the name transfer method!) Pressurised filters do their job next, eliminating the yeast residue (Lees). Liqueur d'expédition or exposition liqueur is then added to balance out the acidity of the wine. Pressurised fillers finally fill the wine into fresh bottles.
Advantage over the traditional method
An advantage of this method is that it isn’t as expensive and time-consuming as the traditional method. (Actually, the traditional method is the most expensive of all the methods of producing sparkling wine.) This is because the yeast waste is filtered out in a go, instead of bottle-to-bottle, and the exposition liqueur is also added in bulk. It also ensures a greater control, unlike Champagne method where the wine once bottled stays in it (hence blending it isn’t possible). Yet another benefit is that it offers a much better bubble quality than the tank method. Last but surely not the least, the resulting wine is almost the same as is produced using the traditional method.
With a whole lot of advantages over other methods of producing sparkling wine, it is no wonder that transfer method is widely used in Australia and New Zealand! And now you are also well-versed with yet another amazing method of producing your favourite sparkling wine!