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Disgorgement

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Disgorgement is the process used to eject sediment when making champagne or sparkling wines. Disgorgement can be done in one of two ways:

  • à la volée is where the disgorger holds the bottle either vertically or at a slight angle against the forearm. He then applies the disgorgement pincers to the cap, bringing the bottle upright and then pulling off the crown cap. As the carbon dioxide meets the sediment both the cork and sediment are forced out by the pressure. This process is time-consuming and requires a great deal of skill.
  • à la glace, as the name implies, makes use of very low temperatures to remove the sediment. The sediment is frozen in the neck of the bottle by plunging the neck into a refrigerated tank. This creates a long ice plug in the neck in which the sediment is then trapped. After a few minutes the bottle is turned upright and the cap is removed. The pressure in the bottle then drives the stop and the ice plug out of the bottle thus removing the trapped sediment.
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