10 April, 2014

Bottling our first plot champagne

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Today is very special.

The next step on the long long road from grapes to final champagne is up. The bottling that is.

"Do you know how the bubbles get in there?" I asked the kids this morning while driving to the school.

They did not. They forgot. The little one however likes bubbles a lot, whether they're come in cola, beer or champagne.

When we transfer the wine from the steel tanks and into the bottle - this happens with the help of a range of machines - we also add a mix of yeast and sugar, dissolved in a bit of wine.

Once the bottle is firmly closed, there is only a very limited access to oxygen. But the yeast does not care in the beginning. They start eating the sugar. About two weeks later that party is over, and since there is no or at least very little air, the yeast eventually dies and sediments at the bottom of the bottle.

The sweet party is a checimal process that creates alcohol and carbon dioxide. The latter is a gas, that is bound to escape. Since the bottle is closed however this is not possible, and eventually the gas is dissolved in the wine. This is what will become bubbles when the wine and future champagne will be poured in some years from now.

But before we get this far, we need to have the wine in the bottle. Which happens - ta da - this very day.

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