Technique

Making Sparkling Wine: Tips from the Pros

These three pros offer up tips to make your own sparkling wine at home. Steve DiFrancesco is the Winemaker for Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee, New York. If you’re going for a classic elegance in your sparkling wine you want very delicate flavors from the grapes because the effervescence is going to elevate the aromatics; that’s why Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc and Chard-onnay are most commonly used. But for more of an aromatic wine like Prosecco or Sekt, you could use grapes such as Muscat, Traminette, or Riesling and add more sugar at disgorging. Another good option if you live somewhere that can’t grow Pinot or Muscat is Delaware, which is cold tolerant and hardy. You want crisper grapes with less sugar than for a typical table wine because you only want about 10.5 percent alcohol after primary fermentation. So you must harvest before you pass 19 °Brix. That’s tricky if you’re in a warm area where harvest may be in July. Primary fermentation can be done in 10 days or so, then that needs to be stabilized