Tirage Bottling

July 2, 2019 · 0 comments

Tirage Bottling

What’s up in the winery these days? We’ve been tirage bottling our sparkling wine, Goat Bubbles. The key process in producing méthode champenoise wines is a second fermentation that occurs in a sealed bottle – it creates the carbonation. Sugar, yeast and yeast nutrients are added, and the entire concoction, called the “tirage”, is put in a thick walled glass bottle and sealed with a bottle cap. The tirage is placed in a cool cellar (55-60 F) and allowed to slowly ferment, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.

tirage bottling equipment

Liqueur de tirage is a mixture of yeast, wine and sugar that is added to the still base wine in order to create the secondary fermentation in bottle. The amount of sugar determines the level of dryness in the wine as well as the atmospheric pressure in the bottle. Once the bottles are filled, they are crown capped and then laid on their side for storage. When fermentation is complete inside the bottle, the wine undergoes a secondary phase of its aging process interacting with the dead yeast cells, which is called autolysis. The interaction of the yeast with the wine creates texture, creaminess and yeasty aromas. The longer the wine ages during this process the more complex the finished product will be. Traditional Champagne has three or more years of tirage.

Once fermentation is finished, the atmospheric pressure inside each bottles is 70-90psi. The deep punt and heavy bottle prevent explosion. 

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