How far back does sparkling wine date in the U.S.?
When did the ‘modern’ sparkling wine period begin in the U.S. and with what bottling?
- Dates to 19th century;
- Modern period began in 1965 with Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc Brut.
Most sparkling wine production in the U.S. is made in this state, which accounts for about ___% of all sparkling wine made in the U.S.
- 50% (or half).
Varied range of styles made in the U.S.: Traditional, Tank, Tank with added fruit flavors, and Pet-Nat
Where are most grapes in California grown that go into sparkling wine?
Coastal regions cooled by the Pacific.
- cool air is drawn inland which brings fog + cool air to coast;
- these areas are ideal for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Regardless of the grape variety, in warm regions most grapes for sparkling wine are harvested early. Harvesting early means the grapes will have underripe flavors.
How do winemakers compensate for those underripe flavors?
By allowing the wine to have residual sugar to counterbalance those underripe flavors.
Anderson Valley (Mendocino County):
- Where are most grapes for sparkling grown?
- Anderson Valley is home to which estate?
- Near the ocean in the northwest portion of the county;
- cool breezes + fog (less sunshine);
- wide diurnal temperatures common;
Russian River Valley (Sonoma County):
- What two environmental factors provide cooling influences to this AVA?
- Russian River Valley is home to which big sparkling wine producer?
- Petaluma Gap and fog + cool breezes from the Russian River itself;
Carneros (straddles Sonoma and Napa Counties):
- What body of water cools Carneros?
- Carneros is home to these two well-known sparkling wine producers.
- San Pablo Bay cools down Carneros;
- Gloria Ferrer and Domaine Carneros.
Fun Fact: Gloria Ferrer was founded by Freixenet, and Domaine Carneros was founded by Taittinger.
Most Napa producers who make sparkling wine source their grapes from where?
Most will blend their Napa fruit with grapes from other regions
- One producer in particular will source fruit from Napa and label it Napa (Mumm Napa).
In the 1940s, the University of California, Davis, professors Winkler and Amerine devised the ____ ____ ____.
Heat Summation Scale
Monterey (Monterey County):
- Portions of Monterey are identified as which zone(s) in the Winkler & Amerine’s Heat Summation Scale, making them suitable to grow which grapes?
- What influence helps cool these areas?
- Zones 1-2, making them suitable to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir;
- The biggest influence is a huge submarine canyon off the coast of Monterey which has very cool waters, so the breezes that blow off the water are themselves quite cool. These cool breezes help create vineyard sites that are suitable for growing grapes to make sparkling wine.
The two coolest AVAs of San Luis Obispo County are _____ and _____.
Why are they so cool?
Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande
- they are the coolest due to their proximity to the coast and the cold Pacific ocean
Which two AVAs in Santa Barbara County are identified as zones 1-2 on Winkler + Amerine’s Heat Summation Index?
What geographical feature helps them stay so cool?
Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley
- both run east-west which channels fog + cool breezes from Pacific
True or False:
Lodi (San Joaquin County) is well known for its premium sparkling wines.
False – Lodi is too hot to grow grapes for premium sparkling wine.
However, large volumes of tank-fermented and flavored sparkling wines are made in Lodi.
The largest producer of premium sparkling wine in Washington State is _____.
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Name three environmental factors that contribute to Washington State’s suitability to grow grapes for sparkling wine.
- Northerly latitude;
- Extended daylight hours;
- Large diurnal shifts.
What makes the Willamette Valley a good place to grow grapes for sparkling wines?
Cool climate allows grapes to ripen slowly and retain acidity
The largest specialist producer of sparkling wine in Willamette Valley is _____.
Radiant Sparkling Wine in the Willamette Valley is:
A specialist company that supplies wineries that don’t specialize in (or have the equipment to make) sparkling wine with mobile winemaking units.
In the U.S., premium sparkling wines are made using _____ Method.
In the U.S., inexpensive sparkling wines are made using _____ Method.
Premium = Traditional
Inexpensive = Tank
How do most U.S. wineries sell their sparkling wines?
Their tasting room or DTC (Direct-to-Consumer)
Name two California custom wine service companies who offer services from full production custom crush to bottling.
U.S. brands established before this date can use the term Champagne IF the ____ is also on the label.
- Geographic origin
What are the 3 outfits that make sparkling wine in the U.S.?
- Specialist sparkling wine houses;
- Small batch, premium sparkling wine companies;
- Large companies making wine ranging, cheap wines for national and international distribution (e.g. Barefoot, Cupcake).