Other Sparkling Wines
Britain has gained a great reputation both here and overseas for its Classic Method sparkling wines, which became a talking point in the wine world towards the end of the 1990s. However, other sparkling styles are made in this country.
While Classic Method remains the main style of sparkling wine produced, other sparkling wine styles have emerged in recent years. These styles make best use of more aromatic varieties and illustrate the diversity and innovation of wine production in Britain today, providing different entry points to wine drinkers new to our industry.
The Charmat Method, also know as the Tank or Marinotti Method, is a sparkling winemaking production process where the wine is put into large stainless steel pressurised tanks to undergo secondary fermentation. Yeast, along with sugars, are added to the base wine in the tank so that this secondary fermentation occurs. The tank is sealed to prevent the CO2 from escaping. The wine does not undergo lengthy lees-ageing prior to bottling. Prosecco is also produced by this process. Wines made using the Charmat Method tend to have a softer, fruity character, and an easy-drinking style.
Also known as carbonated wine. Carbon dioxide is injected into regular wine to make the wine fizzy. The wine does not go through secondary fermentation and this results in large bubbles that dissipate quickly. Canned wines and some bottled wines are produced by this method – light, fruity and for enjoying immediately.
Pét-Nat / Méthode Ancestrale
Short for ‘Pétillant-Naturel’, Pét-Nats are a small but growing category of wine in Britain. Made by the production method known as Méthode Ancestrale, Pét-Nats are bottled before the first fermentation has finished. Pét-Nats can be disgorged or, as is more often the case, left in their natural state: cloudy. The result is a lightly effervescent wine, intended to be consumed young. Fun, fresh, and often found sporting a crown cap.
Like Classic Method sparkling wines, Col Fondos are produced by making a dry base wine and initiating secondary fermentation when bottling. Winemakers have different ways of doing this: they might add yeast and sugar, yeast and grape juice, or simply just grape juice. Like Pét-Nats, Col Fondos are not typically disgorged and retain their natural cloudy appearance.