Australia Sparkling Wine
"Australia Sparkling Wine - As good as Champagne!"
Australia makes some fabulous wine and its sparkling varieties are no exception. Whilst you can get sparkling wines of any colour (including sparkling Shiraz, sparkling rose,) it's still the sparkling white wine that is the most popular.
France holds the monopoly on producing champagne and this is because they own the name "Champagne" but there are many sparkling wines in Australia that are made using the french champagne method -known as the "traditional Method" or "Method Champenoise" So in essence, many Australian sparkling wines are champagne without the title.
Read the page below to understand a little bit more about the process of making sparkling wine and where to find some of the best examples in Australia
The Process For Making Australian Sparkling Wine
Sparkling Wine is usually made from Pinot Noir (a red grape) and Chardonnay grapesA sparkling wine is said to be vintage if it is made from grapes from just one year. Non-vintage may include grapes that have been blended across several yearsThe base wine is first made by blending the grapes together (without bubbles) and usually stored in stainless steel tanksIt is the making of the bubbles that makes it different from other wines. It is called secondary fermentation and can take place in the bottle or in special tanks The traditional method is the french champagne method and is where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle on lees. This is very labour intensive and as such is the most expensive of the methods.Other methods include the Transfer Method and Charmat method - both of which involve using a tank rather than just the bottle for the secondary fermentation processThe traditional method still produces the best quality wines. The size and number of bubbles is usually a good way to tell what style has been used.
Where To Find Great Australia Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wines need cool climates so a visit to Tasmania Australia is where you need to go.
The area around Pipers Brook just outside Launceston is where you want to go. My page on Tamar Valley Wine will give you some ideas of which Tasmania wineries to visit.
In terms of finding Sparkling wines in Australia that use the traditional method (i.e. are really champagne but they just can't use the name "Champagne") I would look for brands such as the below that offer wonderful champagnes without the French price tag:Domain Chandon - set up by the french champagne house Moet Chandon here in Australia's Yarra Valley (just outside Melbourne) to produce sparkling wines made with the same grape varieties and methods as they do in FranceJansz - dedicated to the making of sparkling wine with the traditional method, it is in the Tamar Valley region in Tasmania and the first winery in Tasmania to adapt the traditional method.
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