Rotari - Metodo Classico
Rotari: Metodo Classico
This is the traditional way to produce sparkling wine and known in oenology as the method of second fermentation in the bottle. The technique has been known for more than 400 years and it is one of the most prestigious ways to generate sparkling wine. Thanks to its perfect combination of wines, terrains and various micro-climates, Trentino represents one the finest areas for the production of the Metodo Classico wine, as this traditional technique is called in Italy.
The most suitable grape varieties are Chardonnay and Pinot Nero which grow particularly well in mountainous areas.
THE PROCESS (you may watch the film about that, which is on the left at the page)
The “base” wine
The grapes are delivered to the winery after harvesting and immediately undergo soft pressing. The must, after sedimentation, is transferred to large steel tanks in the Rotari Winery, where the first fermentation at controlled temperatures (around 18°C) is initiated. Subsequently, the Chardonnay and Pinot Nero wines are carefully mixed to obtain the various “base” cuvees for the sparkling wine.
The bottling starts in spring: carefully selected sugars and yeasts are added to the base wine, which subsequently is bottled. The bottles are sealed with a aluminium crown cap and are placed in large steel cages, which are then stored and left to rest for more than 2 years at a constant temperature of 13 °C
Second fermentation and refinement
It is here where ROTARI is born: the second fermentation (or “prise de mousse”) commences inside the bottles which are stacked in horizontal position. The characteristic bubbles of Rotari emerge due to the elaboration of the yeasts. This marks the beginning of a long period of ageing and refinement during which the aromas of the grapes are harmonized and evolve together with those released by the yeasts.
After conclusion of ageing, the riddling (“remuage” in French) operation is initiated in which the bottles are turned from a horizontal position to a vertical position (upside down). This process, which traditionally is done by hand with the help of the “pupitres” (traditional wooden riddling racks) is now done by machines called “giropalletes”. The riddling process is managed by cautiously set-up programs overseen by our oenologists. The metal cages, containing 504 bottles each, are rotated a small amount each day and gradually moved to a neck-down orientation, so that the sediment ('lees') slides down the necks of the bottle and is collected in the cap. At this point the bottles are transported to an upper level where the disgorging (“dégorgement” in French) and packing takes place.
The bottles, still in a vertical orientation, are inserted in a cooling solution which freezes the neck of the bottle at -25 °C to -30 °C, isolating the sediments from the wine. The pressure built-up inside the bottle expels the frozen plug from the bottle by simply removing the crown cap, leaving the wine crystal clear. At this point a dosage of “liquore della casa” (a blend of treasured wines refined in barrique) is added. The bottles are then closed with a traditional cork, sealed with a capsule and a metal wire cage, labelled and packed. The ROTARI is left to rest for a few months, until all precious elements have perfectly blended, obtaining its own characteristics, unique bouquets and extreme finesse.