How far back does Chile's sparkling wine history date?
To the 19th century with Valdivieso
Fun Fact: founded in 1879, Valdivieso was the first sparkling wine house in South America
Are most sparkling wines in Chile made using Tank Method or Traditional Method?
Most are Tank Method (90%), though some Traditional Method sparkling wine exisits
Most Chilean sparkling wines are:
- inexpensive, acceptable to good, and mid-priced
- expensive, outstanding, and premium-priced
Inexpensive, acceptable to good, and mid-priced
In Chile, what are the principal grape varieties used for sparkling wine?
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc
In Chile, where do the majority of grapes grow that go into sparkling wine?
- Cooler coastal areas;
- Cool Andean foothills;
- In the south where weather is more mild.
Some cheap sparkling wines will source their grapes from the warm Central Valley
In Chile, when are the grapes for sparkling wine harvested?
From the beginning of February to the beginning of March
In Chile, what are five key regions for sparkling wine?
San Antonio (Leyda)
What grapes are used for sparkling wine in Itata and Maule?
In Chile, all but one of the places where sparkling wine grapes are grown allows irrigation.
What's the one place that does NOT allow for irrigation?
Itata has higher rainfall and does not require irrigation
Grapes in Chile are predominantly harvested:
- by machine
- by hand
Predominantly harvested by hand due to steep slopes and the number of bush vines.
Chile follows the __'s labeling of styles for residual sugar.
In Chile, sparkling wine is dominated by big producers or small producers?
Which big producer makes more than 30% of the total sparkling wine production in Chile?
Name at least two other big Chilean producers who make sparkling wine.
Valdivieso (they make more than 30% of production)
Other big Chilean sparkling wine producers include:
- Concha y Toro
- La Rosa
- Cono Sur
- Miguel Torres
Does most of the sparkling wine made in Chile stay in the domestic market or is it exported?
2/3 stays in the domestic market
When it is exported it goes mostly to Japan.
How far back does Argentina's sparkling wine history date?
1959 when Moët + Chandon based their first overseas subsidiary in Mendoza.
Most of the sparkling wine in Argentina is made using:
- Tank Method
- Traditional Method
Tank Method, although carbonation and Traditional Method are sometimes used.
When Traditional Method is in fact used in Argentina to make sparkling wine, what grapes are usually used?
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Traditional Method Argentine sparkling wines:
- What is the typical style (Extra Brut, Brut, etc.)?
- What is the general flavor profile?
- Describe the general quality range and pricing.
These wines are typically Brut and express ripe apple, lemon, and light autolytic notes.
Quality ranges from good to very good, and prices are mostly inexpensive with some being mid- to premium-priced.
In which regions of Argentina is most sparkling wine made?
- Rio Negro
- San Juan
In Neuquén and Rio Negro, there are diurnal shifts which help maintain delicate aromas and acidity. New vineyards are being planted for sparkling wines.
In Argentina, grapes for cheap carbonated or Tank Method wines are grown in ___.
Grapes for higher quality sparkling wine are mainly grown in subregions ___ and ___.
cheap = Mendoza, including warmer areas where grapes for still table wine are grown
higher quality = Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley
- high elevation here means delicate flavors and acidity are preserved
No matter where the grapes for sparkling wine are grown in Argentina, they're harvested:
- early, 1-2 months before grapes for still wine
- at the same time as grapes for still wine
- late harvest
Harvested early, 1-2 months before the grapes for still wine are picked
This avoids elevated alcohol levels and preserves the acidity
In Argentina, are most sparkling wines single vineyards or are they blends of different vineyards and sites?
Blends of different vineyards and sites to achieve acidity and balance.
In Argentina, what are the most planted grapes for sparkling wine?
Pedro Giménez (most planted) - goes into inexpensive, carbonated wine
- Chenin Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Ugni Blanc
In Argentina, what are the natural hazards that might affect sparkling grapes?
- Spring frost
Why isn't there a lot of fungicide use in Argentina?
It's a naturally very dry climate, so fungal/disease threats remain low.
What are the common ingredients (flavorings and grapes) used in Argentina's cheap, carbonated wines?
- Strawberry flavoring;
- Pedro Giménez;
- Chenin Blanc;
These are also common for Tank wines.
In Argentina, when a sparkling wine is made using Traditional Method, how many months does it have to age sur lie?
Some premium sparklers see extended lees aging, e.g. Baron B Unique.
In Argentina, are most sparkling wines exported or do they stay in the home market?
Home market (95%)
Exports go to other South American markets.
What is the most popular style of sparkling wine made in Argentina?
Extra Brut most popular, though in Argentina that means less than 11g/L, which corresponds to the EU's Brut.
Name some of the leading companies in Argentina making sparkling wine.
- Chandon Argentina
Freixenet + SoGrape are investing in Argentina