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Sparkling Wines

Bruce Ewert one of Canadian best specialized sparkling winemakers


Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, ... Sparkling wines are categorized as Extra Brut, Brut (pronounced "broot"), Extra dry, Sec and Demi-sec depending on their sugar levels.

There five methods for making Sparkling wine: Traditional, Transfer, Charmat/Tank, Asti and Carbonated Methods

What Is Traditional Method?

Traditional Method, Methode Classique, Methode Champagnoise all mean the same, They refer to sparkling wines produced by a natural fermentation in the bottle. These wines have fine persistent bubbles. Aging on the yeast lees in the bottle produces complexity and creaminess and the celebrated yeast flavours. Each bottle is then hand riddled and hand disgorged to remove sediment - the same as is done in Champagne France.


What is the difference between Traditional Method Sparkling wines and Artificially Carbonated wines?

Pop, commercial beers, and most mass-produced bulk effervescent wines are artificially carbonated. Manufacturers chill their products and inject carbon-dioxide into them prior to bottling. Wines made this way have large coarse bubbles that dissipate quickly in the glass and do not have any yeast aromas. IF IT DOES NOT SAY TRADITIONAL METHOD OR THE OTHER TERMS REFERRING TO NATURAL FERMENTATION ON THE LABEL - IT IS ARTIFICALLY CARBONATED. L'Acadie Vineyards has worked hard to change Nova Scotia Wine Standards so that these wines must have “Artificially Carbonated” declared on the front label so that consumers can choose wisely. This is what is required in other wine making regions of the world where the term “Sparkling” is protected for wine with bubbles produced from natural fermentation.

What is Charmat and Transfer Method?

Charmat Method refers to sparkling wines, such as Italian Prosecco, that are naturally fermented in a closed tank and then bottled when chilled to retain bubbles. Transfer method refers to wines that are naturally fermented in the bottle, then emptied, the yeast separated by filtration, and rebottled. Both these methods have a lower production cost, less complexity and coarser bubbles than the Traditional Method. As of yet, no one is using these methods in Nova Scotia.

Why is Traditional Method Sparkling an exciting new wine style for Nova Scotia?

Whenever you have climates that ripen grapes at moderate sugar levels, you have ideal conditions for Traditional Method Sparking Wines. Nova Scotia has a cool climate that ripens grapes at ideal sugar and acid balances, especially L'Acadie, that rival the best established cool climate winemaking areas in the world.

L'Acadie Vineyards has released the first traditional method sparkling wines for Nova Scotia - Traditional Method Brut and Traditional Method Rose, as well as a Traditional Method Certified Organic Cider and others currently being aged in bottle (en tirage), including a Certified Organic Brut. It is possible that Nova Scotia could become known in the world of wine for its Traditional Method Sparkling Wines.

Why are prices of French Traditional Method Sparkling Wines (Champagne) more expensive than Nova Scotia Traditional Method Sparkling wines?

Champagne has built a reputation of quality for its sparkling wines and people are willing to pay more for that reputation. Traditional Method Sparkling wines made in Nova Scotia are made the same way as ones from Champagne. We are building our reputation and our wines are winning awards and are comparable to many sparkling wines from around the world. The prices of sparkling wines from L'Acadie Vineyards reflect the extra costs of hand picking and gentle whole cluster pressing to low yields, a special strong bottle sourced from France, aging for 12 months - three years plus in our geothermal temperature controlled cellar and the hand riddling and disgorging process of removing the sediment from the bottle.

Informormation provided by Bruce Ewert L'Acadie Vineyards

Winemaker Owner Bruce Ewert L'Acadie Vineyards Wolfville Nova Scotia is one of Canadian best sparkling winemakers. All of L'Acadie Vineyards sparkling wines have always been produced by the Traditional Method .

Prestige Brut was the only entry from North America to win a medal in the 9th international competition of the world's best sparkling wines. Effervescents du Monde® was held from November 16 to 18 2011 at the Lycée Le Castel Culinary School in Dijon, France

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Benjamin Bridge is an innovative sparkling wine house on the south facing slopes of the picturesque Gaspereau Valley, where owners Gerry McConnell and Dara Gordon have been growing grapes since the millennium. Working with an international team of winemakers to produce Méthode Classique sparkling wines

“They are, without question, the best sparkling wines I have tasted in Canada,” says Tony Aspler, Canada’s most renowned wine authority.


In British Columbia Summerhill Pyramid Winery is also know for its Sparkling wines. Summerhill is committed to producing 100% organic wine. Their Kelowna vineyard is now in the process of applying for our Demeter Biodynamic certification.

International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC)2010 named Summerhill's Cipes Gabriel 'Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine'


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Sumac Ridge began a sparkling wine research program in 1985 and released its first commercial sparkling wine in 1989. The research program tested a wide range of grape varieties and yeasts to determine the most suitable. The goal was to create an ultra-premium sparkling wine that was fermented and aged in the bottle in the traditional method of France. The final wine was developed using a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc and was named Steller's Jay after British Columbia's official bird. The wine was released in 1989 and has become the largest selling premium sparkling wine made in Canada.

The sparkling wine program requires intensive care and maintenance. The bottles are hand riddled regularly to move the yeast cells to the neck of the bottle. The onerous process is supervised by long-time Sumac Ridge employee Wayne Cousins. The sparkling wine cellar, affectionately known as "Wayne's World", houses over 250,000 bottles of aging wine at any given time.


Cave Spring

This is a terrific blanc de blancs

This 100% chardonnay was aged for three years, building subtle almond complexity into the dried apple, lemon and shortbread aromas. It is light-bodied, lively, gentle, delicate and a touch sweet, yet built on a beam of mineral acidity. There's excellent length on the finish.

This wine recently received the coveted Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Ontario Wine in the sparkling wine category . The award was presented in July by the Honourable David C. Onley at Queen's Park in Toronto.


Definition of Quality in Sparkling wines:

VQA, Ontario, Canada requires the product must have an excess pressure, due to the presence of CO2 in solution, of minimum
3 bars at a temperature of 20ºC in closed containers3. Whereas in Champagne, in order, for a sparkling wine to be qualified as
quality sparkling wine, it shall have a minimum of excess pressure of 3.5 bars1



The bubbles of sparkling wines are formed during a second fermentation process. For the second fermentation the winemaker takes still wine and adds a few grams of sugar and a few grams of yeast. This yeast and sugar convert to carbon dioxide (bubbles) and, of course alcohol. This conversion makes for millions of bubbles trapped in a very small space, sending the pressure soaring to about 80 psi in the typical bottle of sparkling wine.


also look for

Colio Estates 'CEV Lily' Blanc de Noirs 2002
Festive pink hue with fragrant frui notes and touch of sweetness on the finish.

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut
Light mineral nose with toasty, apple notes and fine, lingering bubbles

Vignoble L'orpailleur L'ORPAILLEUR Cuvée spéciale (vin gris)

13th Street Cuvee 13 Rose A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the excellent sparkling vintage 2008 - the Pinot Noir for fruit, power and richness and Chardonnay for structure and backbone - this Brut-finished sparkler was fermented in the final bottle and aged sur lattes for a full 26 months during which the bubbles became smaller and more compacted

Bella is a sparkling wine house capturing the beauty of British Columbia fruit in every bubble. Focusing on Chardonnay and Gamay Noir, Bella sparkling wine is an elegant, genuine expression of the vineyards we source from.

8th Generation Integrity Frizzante style

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Sperling Vineyards Brut from her Okanagan Vineyards

Orofino produces Sparkling wines from the Similkameen

* By mutual agreement only wines produced in Champagne France may be called Champagne.

In June, 2003, Canada and the European Union announced that they had entered into an agreement that will commit the parties into protecting each others’ geographical indications for wines and spirits. The agreement has yet to be ratified by the European Council and the Canadian Parliament, and it is not known when ratification will occur.  However, the main effect of the agreement appears to be to phase out the generic use in Canada of a number of European geographical indications for wines. While the terms of the agreement and how they will dovetail with Canada’s existing laws regarding the protection of geographical indications, which are incorporated into the Canadian Trademarks Act, remains unclear, the intent appears to be that Canadian wine makers will cease use of certain French geographical indications in three stages. In the first stage, the use by Canadians of Bordeaux, Chianti, Claret, Madeira, Malaga, Marsala, Medoc, and Mosel will cease as soon as the agreement comes into force. Since these indications are not presently used by Canadian wine makers, this particular provision is of no more than academic interest. The use of Bourgogne/Burgundy, Rhin/Rhine and Sauterne/Sauternes will cease by December 31, 2008. Since the use of these geographical indications by Canadians is today virtually unknown, this provision is also of no great significance. Finally, the use of Chablis, Champagne, Port/Porto and Sherry will cease after December 31, 2013. These geographical indications are currently in widespread use by Canadians as part of generic wine terms like “Canadian Chablis” and “Canadian Champagne”. This therefore appears to be the principal real effect of the agreement.

Frizzante wines have small bubbles that offer a refreshing tingle while helping to mask the wine's sweetness. Frizzante wines are also considered to be slightly less effervescent than champagne . If you find champagne to be too “fizzy” for your tastes, frizzante wines are a great beverage choice for weddings, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions

Italy's sparkling wine is called Asti . Many of us remember Asti Spumante, as it was once called. Asti in the Italian wine region of Piedmont and is made with the Moscato grape

The Spanish wine region of Catalonia produces their well respected Cava sparkling wine

One of the least familiar types of sparkling wine produced in Germany and Austria is called Sekt . Sekt is made with Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris grapes in Germany and Welschriesling and Gruner Vetliner grapes in Austria.

The French terms " Mousseux " or " Crémant " are used to refer to sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region

The Hungarian equivalent for sparkling wine is ' pezsgo '.

How to open Sparkling wines

Charmat Methods

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