What is Charmat Method?

8th July 2020

prosecco harvest 2018

You may have heard of the Charmat Method before, but do you really know what it is or how it’s done?

The Charmat Method is widely associated with Prosecco, but it isn’t just Italy that uses this method, it is also used in countries like Germany and America.

What is the Charmat Method? It is a method used for creating Sparkling Wine, the Charmat Method involves 5 stages.

1st Stage) The wine undergoes its primary fermentation in stainless steel vats, this creates a fruity still wine with low alcohol.

2nd Stage) The wine is put into a stainless steel tank called the autoclave, to undergo its secondary fermentation, a mixture of yeast and sugar is then added which is called tirage to induce the secondary fermentation, this fermentation process will last between 3 to 12 months, it is also when the bubbles appear and it becomes Sparkling Wine.

3rd Stage) The Wine is then cooled to stop fermentation and filtered into another tank, this removes the dead yeast cells called lees.

4th Stage) This is the time where more sugar can be added, if you choose to add sugar it is called dosage, this will determine how sweet the wine is going to be.

5th Stage) To finish off, the wine is then bottled under pressure, ready to be sold off and enjoyed across the world.

Why is it called the Charmat Method? It is named after one of the people that helped create this method, but not the original inventor, it was first created and patented by Federico Martinotti, an Italian in 1895, but the method was later improved and patented by the French inventor Eugène Charmat in 1907, it is from him that we get the name Charmat Method.

This isn’t the only name that refers to Charmat Method, in Italy they will sometimes call it Metodo Martinotti, so as to give credit to the Italian, rather than the Frenchman, it can also be called Bulk Method, Tank Method & Cuve Close.

Why Are Sparkling Wines Made With The Charmat Method? This method is quicker than the Traditional (Champagne) Method, where Prosecco can be created in months, Champagne takes upwards of over a year.

This method also creates more fruity notes which appeals more to the younger drinker out there.

As the process is quicker than the Traditional Method, bottles can be placed on the shelves for a cheaper price, in turn, means more people will be likely to purchase a bottle or two.

If you have any more questions about the Charmat Method, feel free to send me a message on Twitter and I’ll update the article with your question.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.