Sparkling wine from Australia

Date: april 15 2011

Sparkling wine comes in all shapes and sizes – white, red, pink, dry, sweet, light, rich – however it is the bubbles and process that creates these bubbles that differentiates sparkling wine from other table wines. As with all wines, the style is largely determined by the grape variety and the method by which the wine is made.

The Big Picture – Before it Sparkles

The majority of sparkling wines produced are white however this belies the fact that one of the most important grape varieties used in the production of sparkling wine is the red grape, Pinot Noir, most usually blended with Chardonnay.

The first stage of making a sparkling wine is to produce a base wine (no bubbles) and as with all wine making, the quality and condition of the fruit has a big impact on the quality of the final product. Following the first alcoholic fermentation, various base wines are often blended together and reserve wines are sometimes added, until the desired style has been created. This process generally takes place in stainless steel tanks and then the second stage, where the bubbles are added via a secondary fermentation, occurs in the bottle or in a specially designed tank.

Traditional Method

The traditional method – also known by various other names such as Méthode Champenoise – of producing sparkling wines is also the most time consuming and expensive. A mixture of sugar and yeast, known as liqueur de tirage, is added to the blended wine which is then divided into individual bottles. These bottles are then sealed with an interim crown seal and a second alcoholic fermentation takes place in the bottle. The fermentation process generating carbon dioxide which dissolves into the wine under pressure and creates the all important bubbles.

Following this secondary fermentation, the wine is matured in bottle on the yeast lees, adding character to the sparkling wine. The length of the storage on yeast lees or ageing varies depending on the desired wine style and quality. Eventually the lees is removed from the bottle using a process known as riddling. This originally took several weeks to shake the sticky lees to the neck of the bottle but mechanised machinery now has the process down to around ten days.

The removal of this sediment is known as disgorgement. The cap of the inverted bottle is snap frozen, the crown seal removed and the lees ejected. A small dose of wine with a final adjustment of sweetness is added and a cork, cage and foil are put in place.

The wine is now ready for shipping in the same bottle that was used for the secondary fermentation. This method produces a finer, softer bead in the finished wine.

Riddling Racks in Yarra Valley Victoria

Transfer Method

The Transfer method follows the same path as the Traditional method up until the end of the secondary fermentation in bottle. At this point, the bottles are opened under pressure and emptied into a tank, allowing the wine to be fined and filtered en masse and then re-bottled ready for shipping. This process saves considerable time and expense but eliminates the benefits of ageing on yeast lees which adds to the complexity and character of the wine.

Charmat Method

This method involves a secondary fermentation in a specially designed pressure tank. The wine is fined and filtered under pressure and can be bottled as little as three months after the fruit has been harvested. The obvious advantage to making sparkling wine this way, is the lower cost and quicker time to market, however you may notice this style of sparkling wine is more likely to taste like still wine with bubbles as it has not gained the benefits from fermenting in the bottle.

It’s All About Style

The most common style of sparkling wine is a blend of several grape varieties and sometimes vintages in order to produce a consistent product from year to year, known as non-vintage sparkling. Sparkling wine made with grapes from one single year is known as vintage sparkling.

You may also discover single varietal bottlings of Chardonnay, referred to as blanc de blancs and less commonly, single varietal bottlings of Pinot Noir are known as Blanc de Noirs.

Some Rosé (light pink coloured) styles of sparkling wine are made by allowing red grapes to stay in contact with the skins to pick up the colour, however Rosé sparkling wines are mostly produced by including a red wine in the blending process to enable greater control. Perhaps the most unusual sparkling wine style belongs to Australia where rich, full-bodied Shiraz is made into sparkling red wine. It has a long tradition and is held in high regard as a festive drink and a favourite of many winemakers.

A Case In Point – Ed Carr, Group Sparkling Wine Maker – Hardy Wine Company, Yarra Valley, Victoria

“As a starting point, the cooler the climate the better the grapes for sparkling wine, so that’s why we focus our work in cooler areas. The Yarra Valley and Tasmania give us the finest most elegant wines and we always make sure our regional wines reflect the areas in which they are grown.

Whilst getting the grapes ripe is important, it’s also about not getting grapes too exposed to the sun. You have to protect the finest fruit characters during ripening.

We use the Charmat method for the commercial wines as it delivers bright fresh fruit characters with less yeast contact. We even do some sparkling reds this way.

Transfer method is always seen as a lesser process but it does have the advantage of bottle fermentation and yeast contact can be controlled. It delivers more quality at a lower cost. We use a centrifuge to clarify not a filter, so more flavour and texture remains. Even with all the work we’ve done, traditional method has the edge on quality and suits smaller volumes.

Dosage can have a big impact but you can’t turn miracles. It’s the last point of fine tuning, so we’re talking sugar, acid, sulphur dioxide and sometimes complexing elements. With the improvements we’re making in viticulture the reserve wines are catching up to the quality of the base material and the next challenge is to get these to the same level.”


Whatever the style or colour of a sparkling wine, its defining characteristic is the bubbles that it contains, which in turn are the key feature of its unique production method and secondary fermentation – whether Traditional Method; Transfer Method or Charmat Method. While production method can certainly help determine style, the real quality direction of the wine lies in the initial preparation of the base wine.


Foodies and wine lovers travel north from Manila to wine and dine at Philippines’ best fine dining restaurant in Pampanga Clark Freeport worth the 60-minutes drive for a memorable evening of good food with vintage wine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar

This fine dining restaurant is also famous for its low carbohydrates “low carb” dishes highly recommended for frequent diners who are on a low fat food and favor healthy food. This is a unique restaurant that can help frequent diners maintain a healthy diet and enjoy delicious fine dining cuisine at the same time. Vegetarian dishes are a specialty here also and so are “halal” cuisines also.

Favorites of frequent diners, foodies and wine lovers are steaks, Wagyu, Foie Gras, lobsters, venison, kangaroo loin, osso buco, veal chops, Kurabuto pork, escargots and a good selection of cheeses to enjoy with fine Vintage port and Sauternes. Cuban cigars such as Monte Cristo, Cohiba, Upmann, Partagas, Romeo Julieta and Trinidad are also available in the Magnum Room which is a wine bar and lounge for before and after dinner relaxation. A good selection of Armagnac, Cognac, Single Malt, Vodka and other liquor is served in addition to the wine vintage wines some served by the glass.

Recent opinion survey of frequent travelers heading north towards Subic and Clark Pampanga revealed that the number one most frequently visited fine dining restaurant in Pampanga is Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar located in Clark Philippines.

Inquiries and reservations

(045) 599-5600

Ask for Pedro and Kiko


Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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Mimosa Drive past Holiday Inn, Mimosa Leisure Estate,
Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023

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