The traditional method
Now, winegrowers are able to produce both still champagne (without effervescence) and sparkling champagne.
The foam becomes a technique, more and more precise around the beginning of the 19th century and perfected throughout the 20th century.
With its prestigious image, champagne takes the center stage. However, natural sparkling wines have not disappeared; they come from an unprovoked prize de mousse which perpetuates the old tradition before “champagnization”. They are even experiencing a resurgence of interest, in particular due to their precisely, simple and natural character and the original style of the local grape varieties they use. There is no second fermentation here, but the simple alcoholic fermentation, started in vats or cask which continues after bottling in the final bottle.
By stopping at will, this fermentation goes more or less “to the end of the sugars” and thus gives a sparkling wine less charged in carbon dioxide than the wine resulting from the traditional method and more or less rich in sugar and more or less high in alcohol. To mark the difference with the traditional method, the production of natural sparkling wines is called the “ancestral method” or “rural”.
These wines remain the prerogative of regions formerly known for their sparkling tradition such as in Limoux with its Ancestral Method Blanquette made from mauzac, Gaillac with its sparkling also made from mauzac or even cerdon and its tender rosé or half-dry of Bugey.
Moscato d’Asti is undoubtedly the most famous sparkling wine in the world: its fermentation is carried out in vats, blocked very early (by passage in the cold and filtration) to obtain a tasty balance between the lightness of the alcohol (5.5 °), the sweetness of residual sugars, the pearl of gas and the extraordinary aromatic richness of muscat.
The uncontrollable character of the ancestral methods has set back many traditions of sympathetic sparkling wines with light foam. It is also this phenomenon that made us forget the real sparkling wines of Vouvray or Montlouis or the real Italian sparkling reds of Lambrusco.