Phone: 02 6032 8111

Address: 1619 Chiltern-Rutherglen Road

Rutherglen Vic 3685

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(Champagne method), also called Methode Traditionelle.

There are 4 main methods of making sparkling wine:

  1. carbonation - like soft drink.
  2. tank fermentation (Charmat method) - the wine is put through secondary fermentation in a bulk tank and then is bottled under pressure
  3. transfer method - the wine is put through secondary fermentation in the bottle, then all the bottles are emptied into a tank and the yeast sediment is filtered out. It is then rebottled under pressure
  4. Champagne method (Methode Champenoise) - the wine is put through secondary fermentation in the bottle, and the wine stays in this bottle with the naturally produced bubbles until the consumer drinks it. The means of getting the yeast out of the bottle is detailed below.

All Anderson Sparkling wines are made using the traditional Champagne method.

Once the base wine is made, it is prepared for bottling in a process called "tirage". Basically, the wine is mixed with an active yeast culture and a specific quantity of sugar so that once it is in bottle it will ferment. Carbon dioxide gas is a by product of fermentation and this is trapped inside the sealed bottles, producing bubbles.

This secondary fermentation in the bottles is over in a few weeks (all the sugar is used up by the yeast). The longer the yeast cells are left in the bottles after the fermentation is complete, the more flavour, complexity and texture they give to the wine. Wines which have been stored on yeast lees for a number of years are very creamy and complex.

The yeast sediment must be removed from the bottles before the wine is consumed. This is best done soon before consumption, as after a year or two of having the yeast taken out the wine will start to lose freshness and bubbles. At Anderson winery we are continually doing the following process so that whatever you buy from us is fresh.

RiddlingFirstly the yeast needs to be accumulated in the neck of the bottle. The wine remains in the same bottle it was bottled in, and only the yeast is taken out.
This is achieved using wooden racks ("riddling racks" - pictured) which hold the bottles at an angle. The bottles are turned and tilted in a specific way to get the yeast to slowly accumulate in the neck over several weeks. This is called "remuage" or "riddling". Some larger wineries use a faster, less labour intensive method involving stacking the bottles in large wire crates which are automatically turned by a machine.

Once all the yeast is settled in the neck it is time to remove it. This is called "disgorging". The bottles are removed from the racks and kept upside down to prevent mixing of the yeast sediment. We put them in the coolroom overnight to prevent them gushing when they are opened.

The next morning the bottles are loaded into the "neck freezer", which contains a freezing solution at about minus 22 degrees C. Just the necks of the bottles are submerged in the solution, and this freezes the sediment in about 5 minutes. The bottles can then be turned up the right way without mixing up the sediment, and the cap taken off. The pressure in the bottle blows out the frozen plug of yeast.

A small amount of liqueur is then added (even brut Champagne has about 8g/L sugar as the bubbles make the wine taste excessively dry). We just use sugar syrup as the liqueur, but other wineries sometimes use a sweetened older wine.

The bottle is then topped to the right height and the cork and wire put on. Then it's ready to drink!

See the video disgorging in action.

The basket press is the traditional way of extracting juice or wine from the grape skins, and is more gentle on the grapes than newer designs.

Like it sounds, a basket press is essentially a big basket into which the crushed grapes are loaded. A flat plate is lowered down on top of the grapes and presses the liquid out through small holes in the side of the basket. Traditionally the basket is made from wood, but stainless steel is a more modern (and easier to clean) option which does exactly the same thing.

Basket presses are quite labour intensive, and most wineries now use the newer Airbag or tank presses which are much easier to use. These airbag presses rotate and break up the "cake" of skins to extract more liquid, and this tends to result in harsher tannins in the wines.

Basket presses are generally associated with premium red wines such as Shiraz. We use our basket press for all our wines - red or white. It is the only press we have, and the only press we want!

For reds it is great because it is more gentle and we get softer tannins in the wines (all the tannin is in the skins, and is the drying character in red wines). For whites it is great because there is a large draining area for the juice to get out really quickly, and the less time white juice is in contact with skins the better, because we don't want the tannins.

At Anderson Winery we hand pick all of our grapes. This is much more expensive than machine harvesting (8-10 fold), but it means the berries are not broken, and the juice does not come in contact with air, skins, stalks and leaves while they are being picked.

Stalks and leaf petioles can give a bitter taste to the resulting wine, and if white juice has more than fleeting contact with broken grape skins it starts picking up tannin and phenolics which make the wine drying and bitter (or if the winemaker subsequently removes this, flavour is also stripped out).

Hand harvesting helps the grapes to reach their full potential.

VineyardGrapevines are hardy plants and they require very little water to survive.

Most vineyards in Australia are irrigated as this produces a higher and more consistent yield of grapes.

At Anderson Winery we have made a conscious decision to not irrigate our vines. This means we get a much lower yield, but the grapes have much more intense flavour and colour (essentially, they have less water in them).

The vineyard site & practices have to be right to do this well.

  • The soil should have good water holding capacity (particularly in a relatively dry climate such as Rutherglen). Light, sandy soils dry out very quickly and if there is not regular rainfall the vines will become stressed very quickly. Our soil is clay dispersed with gravel & stones, so it holds water quite well.
  • Winter pruning is critical in determining how much the vine will grow in the Spring. If too many buds are left and there is a wet Spring, the vine will grow vigorously and be at risk of having too much canopy & fruit to sustain over a dry summer. In this case the vine will not be able to ripen the grapes properly. Shoot thinning helps, but the vine has already expended that energy on growing an unwanted shoot, rather than on ripening the grapes.

Do you have some old Anderson wines tucked away and you're not sure when to drink them?

Here's a bit of a guide for you. All suggestions err on the conservative side. This page is updated occasionally, and the "cellar until" date may be extended if the wine is still travelling well.

Please note that all these suggestions are assuming you have good cellaring conditions. If you do not have a good cellar (constant temperature under 20°C), then you should not keep any wine longer than a couple of years.

Sparkling Whites

We recommend you drink our sparkling whites within about a year of purchase. This is because we age them with the yeast inside the bottle, which keeps them fresh and adds complexity. We remove the yeast just before selling the bottle.

If you've had some of our bubblies for several years, don't despair. They won't be undrinkable - just less fresh and creamy, and perhaps a bit less bubbly. But we'd suggest you get stuck into them pretty soon!

Sparkling Reds

As with the sparkling whites, sparkling reds will lose their freshness and creaminess after a couple of years. However, they will continue to age like a red wine.

So, if you like them fresh and creamy, drink them soon.

If you like them with more aged characters you can hold onto them for a few years. Just keep in mind that when we release them they are already quite a few years old, and the wine will change a bit to be more like a "aged dry red with bubbles" the longer you keep them.

Chenin blanc

2004 and older - enjoy now

Viognier

2013 - enjoy now or cellar until 2019
2012 and older - enjoy now

Chardonnay

2008 and older - enjoy now
2008 Verrier - enjoy now or cellar until 2020

Pinot gris

All vintages - enjoy now (last vintage was 2010)

Tempranillo

2012 and older - enjoy now
2013 - enjoy now or cellar until 2018
2014 - enjoy now or cellar until 2019

Shiraz (Basket press or nothing but Shiraz on the label)

2009 and older - decant and enjoy now
2010 - enjoy now or cellar until 2018
2011 - enjoy now or cellar until 2019
2013 - enjoy now or cellar until 2020

Reserve Shiraz

2007 and older Reserve - decant and enjoy now
2006 Verrier - enjoy now or cellar until 2019

Cellar block Shiraz

2003 and older - decant and enjoy now
2006 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2018
2008 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2020

Petit verdot

2010 and older (rectangular cream label) - decant and enjoy now
2007 and older Reserve - decant and enjoy now
2003 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now
2004 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now
2006 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2018
2008 Reserve - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2018
2008 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2020

Durif (cream label)

2007 and older - decant and enjoy now
2009 Reserve - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2020

Cellar block Durif

2003 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now
2004 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now
2005 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now
2006 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now
2007 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2018
2008 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2020
2010 Cellar block - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2025

Verrier Durif Shiraz

2006 - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2018
2007 - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2019
2008 - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2020
2010 - decant and enjoy now, or cellar until 2022

Cabernet sauvignon

2002 and older - decant and enjoy now

Have something not on the list? Contact us to ask us about it. We'll be happy to help.

Anderson Cellar club members are signed up to receive 2 members packs per year of either 6 or 12 bottles of our wines.

Anyone can join Anderson Cellar club.
Membership is free, with the only cost being the cost of each wine pack as it comes out.
For more information, see our Cellar club page, or download an application form.