Spumante wine: all its characteristics!
The definition of Spumante wine (literally “foaming”, in English: sparkling wine) is ruled by the low: a wine that once uncorked produces a given quantity of foam, caused by the carbon dioxide inside the bottle. Thus, it occurs a natural fermentation, which produces this spumy effect: the carbon dioxide isn’t added but it naturally grows; obviously the choice of the bottle plays an important role.
Technical characteristics of Spumante wines
A proper code of conduct defines some necessary characteristics to develop the right quantity of foam. It is given by the gas in the bottle that is pressed in the fluid state higher than the atmosphere.
Once closed, the bottles have to be preserved around 20° and the pressure have to be higher than the 3 bar, because of the carbon dioxide. Moreover, the alcoholic volume of the so called “mosto fiore”, that is the starting cuvee, hasn’t been below the 8,5%.
High quality Spumante wines: production methods
Everyone knows the great names of the Italian sparkling wines: Spumante d’Asti DOCG, Fior D’Arancio Spumante Docg, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg or the sparkling version of the Docg Roero.
How to produce Spumante wines? The answer is easy! There are two main methods, both appreciated and famous:
– Traditional Method: it is the production method of the famous French Champagne, also called champenoise. It foresees the fermentation in the bottle.
– Charmat Method: this is the method to produce Prosecco and other Italian wines, it foresees the fermentation in press tanks, once the fermentation ends the wine can be bottled. The bottling occurs through an isobaric method, to keep the right pressure.
– Third method… artificial gasification. Although the two previous methods foresee the natural fermentation in the bottle, in this third method the gas is added from outside, artificially.
Spumante Blanc de blancs and Blanc de noirs
Sparkling wines/Spumante wines always have a pale straw yellow colour; it is obtained by the winemaking of white and red grapes. The former is the case of the famous blanc de blancs, white wine obtained by white grapes, the latter is the blanc de noirs: white wine made with red grapes. In this last case during the making process of the grapes, the pressing is really important, paying attention to extract the pulp of the grapes without contaminating them with the colour of the peel. When the must looks too dark, it is discoloured filtering it using coal.
The best grapes for Spumante wines
The most used vineyards for the “spumantizzazione” are Pinot noir, Pinot blanc and Chardonnay, like the Recioto di Gambellara Docg, Glera (vineyards of Prosecco) for the Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Docg and the flavoured grapes like the Moscato, Malvasia, Bracchetto and Traminer.
It is either Spumante wine or sparkling wine!
We’d like to remind you that there are bubbles and bubbles… they are not the same! With the definition of sparkling wines it is meant wines that have different characteristics compared to Spumante wines, such as the production and bottling methods or the sugar degree.