I spent one morning this winter with Chris Stewart the winemaker at Clinton Vineyards.  He was performing the last step of the classic methode champenois or traditional method of sparkling wine production of their Seyval Naturel.

Before my visit the wine has gone through primary fermentation, malolactic fermentation, liqueur de triage was added and the second fermentation began.  Now a few weeks later it’s time for the wine to be disgorged and the dosage is added and the bottle is topped off with additional champagne lost during disgoring.

Chris is a one man show and does all these processes by hand one case at a time, one bottle at a time.

The neck of the bottle is frozen and we begin with Chris opening the bottle and the dead yeast cells go flying out.  I’ll let him explain the rest of the process.