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Sparkling wine winery

Project

As all the projects of Midalidare, the one for production of Bulgarian sparkling wine using a traditional method, is realized after a profound analysis and assessment of the possibilities and carefully planning of the whole activity. The winemaking philosophy of the initiative follows the principles and practices over the centuries in already recognized wine regions such as Champagne, France: traditional method of sparkling winemaking, bottle fermentation, minimum 24 months ageing on the lees. Made with exclusive attention to detail.

The project started more than 10 years ago with a step-by-step planting of new vines of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The vineyards are situated on the north-facing slopes because of the limited sunlight exposure and better indices for a future production. Agronomists Francesco Fogolin and Ivan Kolaksazov and оenologists Marco Zizioli, Nikolay Katerov and Alexander Aleksiev are part of the team that creates the sparkling wines.

The first vintage is 2014. A vintage, which is has been remembered as difficult due to the colder climate and more rainfall than usual. However, the above-mentioned conditions favored the fruit envisaged for the production of sparkling wine. During the production of the first sparkling wine in Midalidare - Midalidare Sparkling Brut all the steps related to the classical technology type „Champagne“ are strictly observed. As early as next year – 2015 starts the process of creating Midalidare Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, again using the same traditional method. Both sparkling wines are produced with Chardonnay (Blanc de Blanc).

Midalidare Sparkling Brut 2014 is presented on the market in 2018. “Pearls” of Midalidare charms the public and brings an outstanding success and a recognition for the work of the team both in Bulgaria and abroad. Earlier in the same 2018 the project of building a new winеry for sparkling winemaking started. The Sparkling winery is to shelter the entire process of turning the grapes into a sparkling wine.

In 2019 the second sparkling wine: Midalidare Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, is presented on the market. The response is immediate and Midalidare achieves the highest possible recognition for the two „classical pearls“ – a Gold and two Silver medals from Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2019!

Winery

The base for the sparkling wine is being built within the territory of the bigger eastern winery of Midalidare and during its planning are followed all the recommendations for traditional method of sparkling winemaking. The part of the winery, where specific processes as secondary fermentation in a bottle, ageing on the lees, remuage and degorgement will be carried out, is underground. This is particularly important for the quality of the production as any contact with a natural (sun) light can damage the wine. The ageing of the sparkling wine is compulsory accomplished in dark place, the remaining processes – with minimum light. Similarly, the ageing is accomplished in an absolute piece and minimum vibrations in case of moving the bottles is needed.

A part of the new winery will be accessible for the guests and tourists, where they will be able to learn more about the traditional sparkling winemaking, storage and ageing of the sparkling wine and observe the process degorgement – the separation of the yeast residue after the secondary fermentation from the neck of the bottle. The underground tour will finish in a specially designed dome screenings room where the visitors will be able to watch a short video and taste the sparkling wines of Midalidare.

The winery for sparkling wine will be finished and open for visitors in 2020.

Traditional sparkling winemaking

Midalidare Sparkling wines are produced solely using a traditional sparkling winemaking. During the long wine ageing on the lees (yeast cells), typical for traditional method, complex chemical reactions, known as a process of Autolysis, take place. The Autolysis is a component of vital importance for the forming of the taste and the feeling in the mouth related to all the sparkling wines produced with classical technology as is the Champagne.

  • The process starts with step-by-step fractioned whole-cluster pressing (native for Champagne winemaking) and separating the fractions in order to reduce extraction of polyphenols. The next step is clarification of the must, decanting the grape juice and primary fermentation at controlled temperature of 13°С. Prior blending (assemblage) and natural cold stabilization, a few months ageing on the lees takes place.
  • Sterile filtration, adding yeasts and “liqueur de tirage” are the preparation for the “bottle” fermentation. A few hours after the wine is bottled, stopped with a crown cap and stored in a wine cellar horizontally for a second fermentation. “Liqueur de tirage” consist of small amount of sugar. The second fermentation creates CO2 which is trapped inside the bottle thus carbonating the wine and the sparkling pearls are formed. The second fermentation is carried out for about 40 days at controlled temperature. During the process the pressure inside the bottle increases from 0 to 7 bars. At the end of the fermentation the yeast dies (autolysis) and remain in the bottom of bottle
  • The following process is ageing on the lees at controlled low temperature, for 24 to 60 or more months. The longer the ageing the finer the pearls.
  • After ageing, the lees must be consolidated for removal. The bottles undergo a process known as remuage (riddling). Тhe bottles are placed on special racks called pupitres, with the crown cap pointed down. Daily, several times a day, the bottles are given a turn with the angle gradually increased. The drop back into the rack causes a slight tap, pushing sediments toward the bottle neck. At the end the position of the bottle is straight down, with the lees settled in the neck.
  • For the process of degorgement the bottles are placed upside down and the bottle neck is freezed. The crown cap is then popped off which allows the frozen lees to shoot out of the pressurized bottle. The liquid level is complemented with “liqueur d'expedition” (dosage) and the wine is bottled and corked. Degorgement is made at controlled temperature in order to reduce the loss of pressure and oxygen migration.
  •  After the degorgement, at the end of his long winemaking process, Midalidare sparkling wines are aged for at least 3 months in bottle in order to reveal their absolute sparkling brilliance.
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