Caging the Fizz

The photo below shows Christopher Cooke, proprietor of Winding Wood Vineyard near Wickham, standing in front of 12 large cages. What’s going on?

It would help to explain that the picture was taken in the winery at Hattingley Valley, Alresford in April 2019. The cages are filled with bottles of WWV’s 2018 sparkling wine: each cage contains 500 bottles sitting ‘on lees’, so 6,000 in all. The release date is December 2021. It will almost certainly be well worth the wait as the growing conditions in the summer of 2018 were well-nigh perfect.

The wine is caged not to prevent it escaping but to facilitate automatic riddling. This is the process by which the bottles are rotated slightly each week to move the sediment which eventually collects in the neck. This is then disgorged before the final bottling, leaving nothing but a crystal-clear wine.

If you can’t wait until December 2021, Winding Wood’s Classic Cuvee 2015 is available now, direct from the vineyard. Click here for more information.

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