The Cava wine making process.
The Different Steps to Making Cava
The cava-making process is called Traditional method or Méthode Champagnoise. It requires a second fermentation in the bottle. The first fermentation takes place when the grape must becomes wine.
Tiraje: This consists in adding yeasts and sugar to the base wine so that it produces a second fermentation inside the sealed bottle
The Rima or stacking the bottles: the “rimas” or stacked bottles are laid down horizontally in the underground cellar in a dark environment at a constant temperature. The second fermentation takes place with the bottle in this position and during this time, the carbon dioxide gas produced is trapped and dissolves into the liquid. The cava similarly acquires what is known as its bouquet thanks to the prolonged contact of the cava with its lees.
Riddling: Once the ageing process is over, the yeasts die and fall as sediment to the bottom of the bottle. To remove them, we place the bottles in the “pupitres” or riddling racks, upside down. By manually racking them a little every day, we move them an eighth of a turn, whilst at the same time, inclining the bottle to concentrate all the sediment in the neck of the bottle.
- Disgorging: Once this is achieved, we place the neck of the bottle in a liquid solution at -20ºC, causing the sediment to freeze. Disgorging consists of opening the bottle so that the ice cube is pushed out under the pressure of the carbon dioxide gas. The cava left in the bottle is clear of any sediment.
Dosage or adding “Liqueur d’Expédition” and corking: Depending on the type of cava we are making, we sometimes add dosage. This “liqueur d’Expédition” adds a different touch to the cava as it contains wine and sugar.The type of cava we mainly make is Brut Nature. This cava does not need any dosage. Cava Extra Brut has a little bit of Liqueur d’Expédition added, Brut a little more and Semi-seco is the sweetest of all. The winemaking process finishes with corking the bottle with the final cork.
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