Winemaker NotesThis 2021 vintage Blanc de Noirs Méthode Champenoise Brut is our second release of a sparkling wine at Whitehall LaneWinery. The Pinot Noir harvested from the Sonoma Stage Vineyard is from clone 115. Upon hand harvesting in the early morning hours, our grapes were sorted and whole cluster pressed with a gentle Champagne cycle. After cold settling, the juice was racked clean and split between 75% stainless steel for a cool fermentation while 25% was sent to barrel for a native fermentation. After primary fermentation finished, the wine was filtered and prepared for “tirage”, which means it is blended with a mixture of sugar and yeast, then sent to bottle for secondary fermentation. During this phase, the wine lies on its side and undergoes a second fermentation that lasts between 3-5 weeks. Once secondary fermentation is finished, the bottles are carefully transferred to riddling “remuage” racks, where they are slowly and carefully turned and tilted 25 times to move the dead yeast cells to the neck of the bottle for clarification and disgorgement, or “degorgement”. Upon disgorgement, the neck of the bottle is frozen in a subzero solution, which traps the yeast, then the bottle is opened, and the pressure shoots the frozen yeast out, allowing for some loss of product. At this point, a dose, or “dosage” of sugar and base wine is added to each bottle to top off the wine. The final step is to cork, wire hood, capsule, and label the bottle. Et voila…. we have a Méthode Champenoise Blanc de Noirs Brut sparkling wine to enjoy for any and all celebratory occasions.