More California Winemakers Experimenting with Sparkling Wine
4th March 2016
The Californian sparkling wine industry has long been dominated by big Champagne brands who bought up land and brought along their expertise – such as Mumm Napa, Roederer and Domaine Chandon.
The expertise, money and equipment from these houses was much-needed to make sparkling wine, an intimidating market to enter.
However, recently it seems California winemakers are ready to try it out for themselves. More California wineries are branching out and adding sparkling wine to their ranges, also experimenting with production, grapes and styles to stand out from the rest and make a name for themselves.
One great example is Halycon Wines, a boutique winery founeded in 2014 by winemaker Tyler Elwell and his fiancée, Kim Schultz. Winemaker, Tyler Elwell has 10 years experience in winemaking and has worked with notable vineyards throughout California.
It’s no wonder then that Elwell became interested in the challenge of sparkling wine. Inspired by by cabernet francs from France’s Loire Vallery, they experiemented with their usual wine (cabernet franc) to create a sparkling version using the traditional method.
Halycon 2014 Sparkling Rosé costs $39 and is made from 100% Cabernet Franc Rose.
This type of sparkling wine is almost unheard of in California and Elwell produced just 25 cases. This means it’s extremely difficult to get a hold of it at the moment, but hopefully we will see more in the future.
Also producing sparkling Californian bubbly is Flying Goat Cellars, who actually released their first sparkling wine back in 2006 when doing such a thing was considered very risky. However, it seems winemaker Norm Yost had the right idea as the winery now produces 2,500 cases a year including their range of 5 sparkling wines.
It’s a positive step forward for California’s sparkling wine industry as more winemakers are taking the chance to produce bubbly and it seems to be paying off. Companies like Rack and Riddle also help small wineries produce sparkling wine as they handle all the secondary fermentation process.
Glass of Bubbly
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