Combining traditional French champagne methods with modern technology

With family ties to winemaking in France dating back 375 years, one NSW mid north coast wineries still applies a centuries-old technique to sparkling wines similar to how their ancestors made champagne.

John and Eva Cassegrain planted grapes near Port Macquarie in 1980 keeping with the family business, which began in France in 1643.

While Australian winemakers are no longer allowed to call it champagne, their son and now senior winemaker Alex Cassegrain follows the ‘Methode Champenoise’.

“There are basically four different methods of making either a sparkling wine or a champagne-style wine,” Mr Cassegrain said.

“The two distinct differences are basically that it has either been carbonated using Co2 gas or by using yeast to create the Co2 and build up the pressure.

“In terms of our French heritage, this particular process is something we have always been interested in and it suits our philosophy of winemaking.”

Caps on the sparkling wine bottles are removed and the ice plug full of yeast ejected.

Caps on the sparkling wine bottles are removed and the ice plug full of yeast ejected.

With the 2017 vintage being bottled, Mr Cassegrain watches on as workers carry out the centuries-old method, albeit with modern machinery.

Read More at www.abc.net.au

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