What is a Blanc de Blancs anyway?

Blanc de Blancs is a French term that quite literally means ‘white of white’. It mostly refers to a Champagne that uses Chardonnay only, as opposed to a blend of the grape varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A Blanc de Noir is a Champagne using only the red grape varieties.

Sparkling wines like this are made all over the world, including at our winery in Broke Fordwich. Of course only sparkling wines made in the region (appellation) of Champagne, France can be called ‘Champagne’.

We make our Blanc de Blancs using the Traditional Method of Champagne. This, like all great wines will start in the vineyard with quality fruit selection.

We select Sustainably Farmed Chardonnay from our vineyards here in Broke. The grapes are usually the first to be picked for the season, harvested a touch earlier to ensure bright acidity. We ferment this to create our ‘base wine’ and it goes to bottle.

But what about the bubbles?

The bubbles, fizz, bead, effervescence whatever you’d like to call it, are the product of a second fermentation that happens inside the sealed bottle. To kick off the second fermentation a little bit of yeast and sugar are added to each bottle and the yeast gets to work metabolising the sugar and creating Co2. Specialised bottles are used as they need to withstand the pressure created by this second fermentation.

After the yeast is finished doing its job it dies but remains in the bottle during the aging process.

The wine stays in contact with the dead yeast cells, or lees for around 6 months which creates complexity, texture and unique flavours in the wine.

The yeast is removed by ‘riddling’ and then disgorging. Riddling is a process where the bottles are turned slowly to allow the lees to eventually settle in the neck of the bottle, before being inverted into freezing liquid which causes the yeast to freeze in the neck of the bottle. ‘Disgorging’ sees the crown cap popped off momentarily, allowing the frozen chunk of lees to shoot out of the pressurized bottle. A small amount of liquid is lost in the process so the wine is topped up with a ‘dosage’ liquid of wine and sugar. Margan Blanc de Blanc is made in a crisp, dry style so there is very little sugar added during this last step.

After this the bottles are sealed under cork and voila! Blanc de Blancs for you to enjoy any time.