Fermented in-bottle, our Sparkling Fruit Wines are made in a similar way to what's called the 'traditional method' for sparkling wines, as used for both Champagne and Cava. Champagne can consist of three main grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and we combine a high quality Chardonnay juice with elderflowers/strawberries for our fruity sparklers.

The initial fermentation produces a wine that's aromatic, quite tart, and in the region of 10.5% to 11% ABV. To prepare the wine for the all-important second fermentation in bottle, it's then combined with a mixture containing wine, sugar, and yeast (the Liqueur de Tirage), along with a little yeast nutrient and a clarifying agent. The wine is then bottled and capped.

The secondary fermentation lasts for around eight weeks, and takes place in a custom-made cellar kept at 12 to 14°C to help achieve the fine mousse, which is the mark of all quality sparkling fruit wines. The sparkle is achieved by yeast consuming all the spare sugar in the bottle; this process produces not only alcohol (c. 1.5-2%), but also a by-product of carbon dioxide. As this cannot escape (due to the cap on the bottle), it is absorbed into the wine, creating the all-important fizz.

For cosmetic purposes, the yeast has to be taken out of the bottle. In order to do this, we use the traditional means of 'riddling' in pupitres. The bottles are gradually inverted and shaken over the course of one to two weeks, until the yeast had fallen to the neck of the bottle and formed a plug. At this point, the necks are plunged into a freezing solution at -30°C, which freezes the yeast plug.

The bottle cap is then removed, causing expulsion of all the sediment (due to the pressure behind it). The bottles are then topped up with the dosage, a mixture of wine and sugar, so that all the bottles have a uniform balance and taste. In our case, the elderflower has 7g/l and is classed as Brut as it’s under the 15g/l limit.

Finally, the corking, wiring and dressing of every bottle is carried out by hand – making each bottle a real labour of love – which is why we were delighted when our Elderflower Sparkling Wine was also awarded Gold at this year’s Great Taste Awards 2015.