Bella Wines

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2018 methode ancestrale portfolio

At Bella we produce our sparkling wines in the traditional method to showcase a single varietal, from a single vineyard and a single vintage.  The traditional method implies a second fermentation happens in the bottle to produce the bubbles you enjoy so much.  After the primary fermentation (which occurs in tank and/or barrel) a sugar and yeast mixture is added to trigger a second fermentation in the bottle.  Through the process of riddling, and then finally disgorging, the dead yeast (or lees) is removed from the bottle while maintaining the bubbles.

But it hasn’t always been so … allow us to introduce you to Methode Ancestrale.

The origins of sparkling wine are a bit murky but the story goes as such:  in the 15th century some monks believing their still wine had fully fermented bottled the juice and laid it down.  When spring came, and the temperatures warmed up, bottles started exploding everywhere!  Those that didn’t explode under the pressure of a continued fermentation tasted fantastic and sparkling wine was created.  Ancestrale wine making is extremely high risk and must be carefully controlled in order to produce the desired results.  Because of the ancestrale method’s volatility the traditional method evolved as the second fermentation in the bottle is more controlled and stable.

Starting with the 2014 vintage, we wanted to make a truly natural wine crafted in the ancient ways so we brought to market Western Canada’s first natural Ancestrale sparking wine.  After whole cluster pressing the grapes, the juice wild ferments in a neutral barrel and at precisely the right moment (we do have a few enhanced technologies over the monks!) the juice is hand bottled by gravity flow and allowed to finish fermenting in the bottle.  As you can imagine, without filtering, the ancestrale contains significant quantities of natural lees and some particulates from the original pressing.  Through riddling, and disgorging, we can remove almost all of the sediment but some will remain.  Also, without filtering the wine maintains a natural cloudiness that will dissipate over time.

What makes this wine natural?

Nothing has been added.  We press grapes, the juice goes into barrel and then a bottle.  There is absolutely no intervention and no filtering.  You will never taste a more intensely flavored sparkling wine than an ancestrale. We hope you enjoy this style of sparkling wine.

What’s in a name?

In the United States methode ancestrale is commonly referred to as “pét-nat” which is short for pétillant naturel.  In Italy, before the 1980’s, most Proseccos were made in the “col fondo” style (aka the ancestrale methode).  As you can see from the links this ancient style of wine is making quite the comeback.  What ever you call it, old is the new black.

 

18 “MARIANI CL787 GAMAY ROSÉ

This sparkling rosé is made from the unique Gamay Clone 787 from Mariani Vineyards.  Showing off a delicate floral nose and subtle stone fruits on the palate, this ancestrale rosé will not disappoint.  A crisp and refreshing style of natural bubbles to be savored and sipped on its own.

Vineyard:  Mariani Vineyards

Location: Naramata Village, BC

Farming: Organic (not certified)

Style: Ancestrale Method

Winemaking: Destemmed, 3 hours skin contact, basket pressed, racked twice, hand riddled, hand disgorged, zero dosage.

Ingredients: Gamay grapes, 10 ppm sulphur.

Bottle: 750ml | CSPC +185807 | $40 | 1,260 Bottles | Released April 1, 2019

 

18 “MARIANI CL509 GAMAY ROSÉ

This clone of Gamay (Clone 509) from Mariani Vineyards shows subtle earthy pepper spice aromas with a bright, fresh, almost tart structure on the finish.  This is considered a sparkling red wine given it spent five days on skins.  This is an anacestrale method sparkling wine which only ferments once:  while the juice is fermenting it is bottled and encouraged to finish its first ferment in the bottle.  Don’t be afraid to try this bubble with some of your favourite meat dishes, its versatility will surprise you. 

Vineyard:  Mariani Vineyards

Location: Naramata Village, BC

Farming: Organic (not certified)

Style: Ancestrale Method

Winemaking: Destemmed, 5 days skin contact, basket pressed, racked twice, hand riddled, hand disgorged, zero dosage.

Ingredients: Gamay grapes, 10 ppm sulphur.

Bottle: 750ml | CSPC +185804 | $40 | 1,680 Bottles | Released April 1, 2019

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