Nova Scotia L’Acadie Vineyards

Sparkling Wine

How to open

Keep your hand on the cork while untwisting the cage. Without removing your hand, firmly hold the cork and gently twist the bottle. The pressure inside will slowly push the cork out – no pulling is required. Always point away from others.

Serving

Always chill sparkling wine to fridge temperatures to enhance retention of bubbles. A flute is a glass shaped to retain bubbles – usually 6 ounce capacity. To enhance aroma enjoyment only fill the glass to 1/3 to ½ full.

An old French tradition – La Cage et L’Oiseau (The Cage and the Cork) – when sharing a bottle of bubbly one person keeps the cage, the other the cork. If you don’t have your piece at the next gathering, you pay for the bottle!

Most seafood pairs well with sparkling wine. Think oysters, mussels. But don’t stop there – consider any food with a salty component like potato chips and popcorn. Of course, mild cheese is always a hit.

Methods of Production

Methode Traditionnelle, Traditional Method, Methode Classique, all mean the same. They refer to sparkling wines produced by a natural fermentation in the bottle. These wines have fine persistent bubbles. Aging on the yeast lees in the bottle produces complexity and creaminess and celebrated toasty flavours. Each bottle is then hand riddled and hand disgorged to remove sediment. All of L’Acadie Vineyards sparkling wines have always been Traditional Method. 
 
Pop, commercial beers, and most mass-produced bulk effervescent wines are artificially carbonated.  Manufacturers chill their products and inject carbon-dioxide into them prior to bottling. Wines made this way have large coarse bubbles that dissipate quickly in the glass and do not have aged creamy characters.  

Charmat Method refers to sparkling wines, such as Italian Prosecco, that are naturally fermented in a closed tank and then bottled when chilled to retain bubbles with no artificial injection of carbon dioxide. Transfer method refers to wines that are naturally fermented in the bottle, then emptied, the yeast separated by filtration, and rebottled. Both these methods have a lower production cost, less complexity and coarser bubbles than the Traditional Method. As of yet, no one is using these methods in Nova Scotia.

How to Read a Label

If a Nova Scotia wine does not say Traditional Method or the other terms referring to natural fermentation on the label – it is artificially carbonated. Nova Scotia Wine Standards require that these wines must have “Carbonation Method” declared on the front label so that consumers can choose wisely. This is what is required in other wine making regions of the world where the term “Sparkling” is protected and reserved for wine with bubbles produced from natural fermentation. Some wineries label their sparkling wines as “white wine” to avoid required declaration of carbonation.

Price

We are building our reputation and our wines are winning awards and are comparable to many sparkling wines from around the world. Our Prestige Brut earned a silver medal at Effervescents du Monde, a competition of the best sparkling wines of the world in Dijon, France. Our sparkling wines are quality hand crafted traditional method and because they are locally produced there is no third party and distribution mark-ups. These savings are reflected in our prices.

Terms

Cuvee – a wine blend of different vineyards, varieties or vintages for the best harmony after aging. Our Vintage Cuvee is made from one vintage with different varieties and vineyard sources.

Lees – yeast produced in the bottle during fermentation. Aging sur lie, on the lees, produces celebrated toasty characters to the wine.

Tirage – aging in the bottle, on their sides for ideal lees contact. We use tirage wire bins holding 500 bottles each and stackable to 4 bins high. Constant temperature is ideal – our tirage cellar is half under the ground. Tirage is from 12 months to over 4 years.

Riddling – after aging, bottles are shaken to dislodge lees and put on pupitres, or riddling racks, and the lees are coaxed down to the neck with daily hand turning for 20 days.

Disgorgement – the final step. The necks of the riddled bottles are frozen with a neck freezer and the special tirage crown cap is removed, expelling the frozen lees. Dosage, sweetened wine, is added to balance the natural acidity and then the bottles are topped and corked.