As part of my birthday weekend celebrations last Saturday, I toured the Gloria Ferrer winery with my parents and Sean. The Gloria Ferrer is one of my favorite sparkling wines or champagnes so I was really excited to learn the history of this brand and how sparkling wine is made. I found out that the Gloria’s sparkling wine is made like champagne, it says on the bottle methode champenoise meaning it is made with the same method champagne is in France.
The Gloria Ferrer’s grape harvest is earlier than most wineries, they actually told us that they were planning to start this week instead of in the Fall. On this tour they took us by a grape plant and explained their harvesting process and how they crush the grapes. They use a method by gently massaging the grapes so that there is just enough pressure to break the skins and release fluid. Then they do one more round in order to squeeze the remaining fluid out, this two process method is the same method the French use to make their champagne. Hence the name method champenoise, which is actually on each of the Gloria Ferrer’s sparkling wine bottles.
I was excited to learn that my other favorite champagne, Veuve Clicquot (excuse me while I cry about how expensive it is), was the founder for the method that helped to remove the yeast from the sparkling wine to clear out the sediment. It was found that when the bottles were riddled and rotated at a downwards angle, the yeast would move down towards the top of the bottle with every rotation. After multiple rotations all of the yeast would be at the top of the bottle in order for them to remove it. This is the second part to methode champenoise. It’s so fascinating to think of how someone came across that method that would forever change the way champagne and sparkling wine was created.
After the tour we went out on their patio, tasted some sparkling wines and had a cheese and cuttery plate. All of it was delicious and the view was gorgeous. The day couldn’t have been better, the weather was amazing and I had a fabulous time with the people I care about the most. Of course both my parents, Sean and myself joined their wine club. I’m really excited and I know I will definitely be back there to taste and snack on some yummy cheese and chorizo.
I highly recommend trying the Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines, they are my favorite and pretty affordable for how delicious they are. All of the ones I’ve tried I loved, but I really enjoyed the Extra Brut, Blanc de Blancs, and Anniversary Cuvee (which is their 2013 Carneros rose) the most. I was told I have a pretty brut palette when I went wine tasting in Sonoma, which makes sense because I haven’t found a brut champagne or sparkling wine I haven’t liked. I had such a fun time celebrating my birthday with my parents and Sean at the Gloria Ferrer winery. It was really interesting to learn how sparkling wine was made and getting to experience the flavors of the sparkling wines was the best! I hope you enjoyed my little entry level explanation to the process behind making sparkling wine, there is definitely more to it and methode champenoise than I have shared with you but I gave you the rough idea. Have you ever toured a winery before? Definitely let me know about it in the comments and let me know if you’ve tried any Gloria Ferrer wines.