Following meticulous blending of the base wines, the “liqueur de tirage” – a mix composed of sugar and carefully selected yeasts – is added. The “prise de mousse” lasts at least one month in the bottle in our temperature-controlled cellar (±12°C). At this time the sugars are consumed by the yeasts which transform them into alcohol and also releases carbonic gas which makes the bubbles in the wine.
Then begins the ageing “sur lattes”.
During this time the yeasts will play their r ole of autolysis. After the sugars ar e “consumed” the yeasts die and, as sediment, are deposited in the bottle. This helps add a certain aromatic complexity to the wine and also helps retain the sparkle when in the glass. This ageing “sur lattes” will last 12 to 15 months.
Next the bottles are put upside-down and turned regularly in a process called “riddling”. The dead yeast cells or “lees” float down and accumulate in the neck of the bottle. Then comes the disgorging process; the bottles are opened and these dead yeasts are ejected under the pressure of the gas, leaving a perfectly clear wine.
The “liqueur d’expédition” is then added, a secret recipe which gives the final touch to the wine before recorking the bottle. This is the “dosage” which determines the sweetness of the wine (Brut, dry,etc).