The Champagne Cellar
Beachaven uses the French Methodouise or Traditional French Method to create what we call our Beachaven Cuvée. This is a seasonal, limited release and can be purchased in-store only.
We blend finished wine into a “cuvée” which can include Chardonnay, Chardonnel, Vidal, etc. – which ever tasted best that year. The cuvée is bottled with an additional dose of yeast and sugar and the bottles are stacked where a second fermentation will take place in the bottle. This traps the CO2 in the bottle creating the bubbles in the Champagne. This process can take 3 months to a year.
The Champagne will be cloudy from the dead yeast cells and other sediment. Bottles are then placed in the riddling racks – neck side in. The bottles are turned a quarter turn every day for several months. This causes the sediment to fall and accumulate in the neck of the bottle.
When the Champagne is clear, it is time to complete the process. The bottles are carefully taken out (neck still pointing down), the necks are frozen – causing the sediment to form a plug. The bottles are then disgorged which entails holding the bottle upside down, quickly removing the cap, and allowing the plug to be pushed out of the bottle. The bottle is then quickly turned right side up, topped off with the original cuvée or Champagne, corked, and a wire hood is added to
ensure the cork remains in place. The bottle neck is then foiled and the bottle is labeled.
Champagne is certainly a hurry up and wait process. Making Champagne takes an extensive amount of time and labor which is why the cost can be so high.