Natural fermentation commences in the tank and when only a small, but critical amount of sugar remains, the fermenting wine is bottled and capped. Bottling must take place at the precise moment when there is enough remaining sugar to create a healthy, vibrant mousse, but not so much as to cause the bottles to explode. This single, continuous fermentation, using fruit which is approximately three weeks riper than base wine used to make Champagne, is what makes Methode Ancestral unique.
The wine is matured on its lees for 16 months before being disgorged. Autolysis of the yeast cells creates further richness and adds palate weight and creaminess in the wine. After being hand riddled over a one month period, it is disgorged and topped using Rurale from the same vintage, as an alternative to liqueur d’expedition. It is therefore not sweetened and considered zero dosage. Because of the ripeness of the fruit, it’s flavour profile is more in line with a brut, rather than an extra-brut.
The name Rurale is the original name for what was later recognized by the French A.O.C as Mèthode Ancestral. We love the implication that this is an uncomplicated, yet pure expression of both the grape and its origins. Rurale is also the first Mèthode Ancestrale to be certified by SAWIS.
It is a highly labour-intensive way to produce sparkling wine, and for this reason, only 1200 bottles of the 2013 vintage were produced. All grapes are grown and vinified at Vondeling.