Disgorging, a step in the Traditional Method of sparkling wine, is the process of evacuating yeast sediment from the bottle. Although winemakers usually rely on a semi-automatic disgorging-dosing machine, they can also disgorge manually! We call this technique disgorgement “á la volée” or “flying disgorgement.”
The Traditional Method is the most hands-on, labor-intensive way to make sparkling wine. It involves specific steps, each critical to the process as a whole, and disgorging is one of those critical steps. Because we firmly believe the Traditional Method creates the best sparkling wine, it is how most of our ISC bubbly is made! Now, let’s get into it. Let’s see disgorgement á la volée in action.
First, the winemaker removes the crown cap and bidule (the small, plastic cup on the inside of the crown cap) with a sharp, precise movement to expel the sediment. They take care to lose the least amount of delicious sparkling wine possible.
Next, the winemaker adds the dosage (liqueur created from sugar plus wine, juice, or even brandy) with a syringe to fine tune the sparkling wine.
Finally, the winemaker tops off each bottle with the base sparkling wine to maintain consistent fill levels.
As you can tell, disgorgement à la volée is no simple deed. It is an art that takes time and practice to master! You can clearly see the dedication and passion our ISC winemakers have about creating the perfect sparkling wine. But more importantly… you can taste it.