2020 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.
2030 Ancestrale Ingredients: grapes OR grapes, 20 PPM (parts-per-million) sulphur. Each year we disgorged a handful of ancestrales at two different times. The first, to be consumed quickly, has no sulphur added. The second, to be consumed over the next 3-5 years has sulphur added to make sure the wine remains stable over time.
2020 MARIANI CL509 GAMAY ANCESTRALE ROSÉ
Clone 509 Gamay Noir is the most common gamay clone found in British Columbia and commonly presents red berry flavor profiles. For this bubble, we let the skins remain in contact with the fruit overnight to give it a darker colour – this could be considered a light red sparkling wine. The Mariani’s farm their vineyard organically so the first batch of this ancestrale sparkling is considered a “zero/zero”: nothing added to the soil, nothing added to the wine.
- Assemblage – 100% Mariani Vineyard Gamay Noir, Clone 509
- Released February 1st, 2021
- Product 750ml: CSPC +63710 | SOLD OUT | 950 bottles
2020 MARIANI CL787 GAMAY ANCESTRALE ROSÉ
Clone 787 Gamay Noir is rarely found in British Columbia and usually presents subtle stone fruits on the palate. For this bubble, we let the skins remain in contact with the fruit for just a few hours giving it a delicate peach colour. The Mariani’s farm their vineyard organically so the first batch of this ancestrale sparkling is considered a “zero/zero”: nothing added to the soil, nothing added to the wine.
- Assemblage – 100% Mariani Vineyard Gamay Noir, Clone 787
- Released March 10th, 2021
- Product 750ml: CSPC +63707 | SOLD OUT | 1,450 bottles
2020 AGAPE CL358 GAMAY ANCESTRALE ROSÉ
Imagine how excited we were to discover a THIRD clone of Gamay Noir grown right here in Naramata Village! Agape Vineyards also grows their fruit organically and we couldn’t be happier to add this clone to our “Naramata Village clonal variation” line up. This clone in Beaujolais is typically used for more full bodied wines and it’s muscle a structure show up in our bubbles too. Another beautiful light sparkling red.
- Assemblage – 100% Agape Vineyard Gamay Noir, Clone 358
- Release date: Late 2021
- Product 750ml: CSPC +63699 | $39.90 | 1,200 bottles
2020 BELLA GAMAY ANCESTRALE ROSÉ
We continue to tease out the best personality from our Estate gamay and this vintage really nails it. Crushable cherry raspberry upfront with a delicate strawberry finish make this the go-to beverage for summer. This is a wine club exclusive or found at Dachi Restaurant in Vancouver under the co-lab “Bubble Dogs” label.
- Assemblage – 100% Bella Estate Gamay Noir
- Release date: April 1st, 2021
- Product 750ml: CSPC +48648 | SOLD OUT | 600 bottles
2020 KEREMEOS GAMAY ANCESTRALE ROSÉ
We’ve been working with Gamay from Keremeos, BC since 2017 and we can say confidently that making it as an ancestrale sparkling red style suits it best. The extended skin contact really enhances the herbaceous quality naturally found in this fruit. This is a true dry Lambrusco style sparkling wine. This will be the last vintage with this fruit so if you fall in love, order now.
- Assemblage – 100% Robin Ridge Gamay Noir
- Released July 1st, 2021
- Product 750ml: CSPC +88644 | $39.90 | 1,450 bottles
2019 KING CHARDONNAY ANCESTRALE BRUT
We held back some 2019 King Ancestrale Brut so that we could showcase bottle age with this style of wine. Disgorged in late 2021, the extended lees contact adds a toasty note to the racy citrus notes this beauty has.
- Assemblage – 100% King Family Farms Chardonnay
- Released Late 2021
- Product 750ml: CSPC +68133 | $39.90 | 725 bottles
2020 BELLA BACKYARD CHARD ANCESTRALE BRUT SERIES
This year we did a small batch release of what we call “backyard chard” – small lot chardonnay expressions made from three locations in Naramata village: Bella Estate, Bella Bench and Wayne’s. All three are made in the ancestrale method and showcase two clones of chardonnay: the standard clone from Dijon and a Musqué clone which is an aromatic, medium bodied, chardonnay with a distinct Muscat-like nose and profile.
Bella Estate Chardonnay is made with the Dijon clone giving you the standard citrus notes you’ve come to love with fresh bright acidity. Both the Bella Bench and Wayne’s Vineyard (which are less than 5km away from each other) are made with the Chardonnay Musqué clone. The Bella Bench location is mostly bed rock with rocky glacial till while Wayne’s Vineyard is more fine glacial lake and stream bed sediment. Taste them side by side to see if you can notice a difference! A true “sense of place” from our wee village.
- Bella Estate Chardonnay 750ml: CSPC +48658 | $39.90 | 400 bottles
- Bella Bench Chardonnay 750ml: CSPC +48655 | $39.90 | 160 bottles
- Wayne’s Chardonnay 750ml: CSPC +48655B | $39.90 | 230 bottles