Hill Family Estate is thrilled to release our 2022 Brut Sparkling Wine. Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes from the Knittle Vineyard in Carneros, this limited-production wine is vibrant, delicately floral and pleasantly tart. It offers flavors of wild cherry, golden delicious apple and raspberry. The 2020 Brut Sparkling Wine was made through the traditional méthode champenoise.

What is Méthode Champenoise?

Méthode champenoise is a method for producing sparkling wine in which the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This is the traditional method used in the Champagne region of France. The process consists of six steps: fermentation, tirage, bottling, riddling, disgorgement and dosage.


The first step of making a sparkling wine through méthode champenoise is to craft a still wine. Hill Family 2020 Brut Sparkling Wine was crafted from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, designating it as a “Blanc de Noirs.” Blanc de Noirs wines are sparkling white wines made entirely from red grapes.


Once the wine has completed fermentation, a mixture of sugar and yeast is added to the wine. This addition triggers the wine to go through a secondary fermentation.


Once the tirage is complete, the wine is bottled and secondary fermentation begins. The bottles are closed with a crown cap rather than a cork and are placed horizontally into a rack.


Over the course of the next six to eight weeks, the bottles are quarter-turned in the rack each day and gradually angled downward, a process called riddling. Riddling helps slowly collect the sediment, called the lees, in the neck of the bottle. The bottles may continue to age after this process is complete; Hill Family 2020 Brut Sparkling Wine rested in bottle for one year prior to the next step: disgorgement.


Disgorgement is the process of removing the collected lees from the bottle, leaving the now sparkling wine clear. This is done by flipping the bottles upside down, freezing the neck, and quickly extracting the lees by removing the crown cap.


Once the wines are disgorged, the dosage is added. The dosage, a mixture of sugar diluted with wine, acts as a top-off following disgorgement, and is added to the bottles prior to bottling with a cork and cage closure. The amount of dosage added will impact the level of sweetness (or lack of) in the resulting wine.

While labor-intensive and time-consuming, the méthode champenoise process results in a delicious sparkling wine. Hill Family Estate is proud to release the 2020 Brut Sparkling Wine for you to enjoy. The wine is $52 per bottle can be purchased at the following link: https://hillfamilyestate.com/product/2020-brut-sparkling-wine/.