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. Steve has a degree in biology from Stetson University and has enjoyed 35 harvests in the Finger Lakes of New York, plus one in Chile.
Steve became the Assistant Winemaker at Glenora in the late 1980s as part of an expansion program with
an emphasis on sparkling wines and became Head Winemaker in 1995. 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