Sparkling wine made by the ancestral method!


So, Dom Pérignon invented the method by which Champagne is made. Well, no actually! It is true that Dom Pérignon and his fellow monks were working on it and will no doubt have made a contribution to the ‘science’, but in fact, Sacre Bleu, it was a 17th Century Englishman; Christopher Merret, who first added sugar to a bottle of wine to provoke a second fermentation, which led to bubbles being in the wine. This occurred a few years before Dom Pérignon had even arrived at the Abbey, which, some 40 years after that, he ultimately made famous for something he didn’t actually do.
However, it wasn’t Mr. Merret who first set about making sparkling wine. Over a century before, in 1531 in fact, sparkling wine was being made in a different abbey, in Carcassonne. However the method of production was different. This method, over the centuries has had several different names: e.g. the ‘rurale’ method and ‘gaillacoise’ method. Nowadays it is generally recognized as the ‘Ancestral Method’.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.