Watch and Read - Disgorging Rosé June 2020

                                     

The disgorging Process - Marcus Rayner, Assistant Winemaker at Wiston Estate Winery

So straight off the back of cold stab, the cellar team have had another busy week disgorging. This is the final stage of wine making. After a wine has rested on its secondary fermentation lees in the cellar, we need to get those lees out. This is the process of riddling and disgorging. Riddling inverts the bottles to herd the dead yeast into the neck. Disgorging removes that dead yeast and replaces it with liquor and wine. Liquor is a sugar solution. This process is mechanicalized these days, but some wineries still do it by hand.

The neck of the bottle is placed into a refrigerated solution at – 26 degrees. This freezes the dead yeast and a bit of wine, forming an ice plug. This frozen plug is neatly ejected under pressure when the bottle is opened. A mechanical thumb covers the top of the bottle to minimize wine and pressure escaping. The bottle then travels through the disgorging machine where liquor and wine are added, and the bottle is topped up. The liquor is tailored to the individual wine, to compliment it’s personality and characteristics. As with anything, this can change throughout the life of a wine.

The next stage is to insert a cork and fix the wire hood to keep it in place. The bottle is then inverted to mix up the liquor with the wine before going through a washer dryer and then being laid to rest under cork before being labelled and sent out to our customers. All our wines have the date of disgorging printed on the back. Disgorging is a very violent process and the wine needs time to settle and catch it’s breath again before being released from the nest.

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