About California Sparkling Wine
This month the California sparkling wine houses are harvesting grapes to use in the production of their wines. For their entry level wines, the grape juice used will contain Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for the most part. Mumm Napa, this past week, was the first sparkling wine house to begin harvest. In the above photo, we see winemaker Tom Tiburzi in his lab at Domaine Chandon. Among others specializing in sparkling wine in California are: Schramsberg, J Vineyards, Iron Horse, Korbel, Gloria Ferrer, Piper Sonoma, Roederer, and Scharffenberger. In a recent Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague reviewed several California sparkling wines in her article, “California Sparkling Wine Sneaks up on Champagne.” If you are visiting the California wine country you can take a tour and taste sparkling wines at any of the above wineries listed. It is most interesting to take a tour and see how a bottle of still wine is inoculated with sugar and yeast to start a second fermentation. It is quite a treat to witness the cap removal under the pressure of the wine and see how the cork is placed into the sparkling wine bottle.
On our Sparkling Wine Trail, we list several sparkling wine houses you can visit and take a tour within a two-day stay in Carneros or the Napa Valley.