March 27, 2024 3 min read

The world of sparkling wines is extremely varied, characterized by a wide range of nuances and technical terms that not everyone is familiar with. We want to help you clear up some common doubts so you can make a more informed choice about your favorite sparkling wines.

One of the main distinctions lies in the production method used, and there are two main ones: the Charmat Method (also known as the Martinotti Method) and the Metodo Classico. Basically, they differ in the refermentation technique used; in the former, the second fermentation takes place in steel tanks, while in the second one, refermentation is in the bottle and takes longer. But let's look at the two methods in more detail...

Delea Charmat Method

Charmat Method

Wines made by the Charmat or Martinotti Method (named in honor of Asti native Federico Martinotti, inventor of the method, and Eugéne Charmat, inventor of the equipment for its application) are derived from white base wines. After the first fermentation in the standard production process, these wines go through a second fermentation in steel tanks, under controlled temperature and pressure, with the addition of yeast and sugar. During this stage, which lasts from 30 days to 6 months, the yeasts metabolize the sugars producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, thus creating the characteristic bubbles. Next, the wine is filtered and finally bottled. This process, because of its simplicity and speed, gives the wines a predominantly light, fresh and fruity character.

Our sparkling wines made with the Charmat Method, have become one of the symbols of our winery: Charme Spumante Brut, made with the most popular Swiss grape, Merlot, along with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, born in 1995 from an intuition of Angelo Delea who revolutionized the Swiss aperitif; Charme Rosé Spumante Brut Merlot Ticino, made with 100% Merlot grapes from Ticino; Noir Spumante Brut, made with the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from our vineyards.


Classical Method

The Classical Method or Champenoise Method (for Champagne produced in its namesake region) or Crémant Method (for sparkling wines produced in the rest of France) differs from the Charmat Method primarily because the second fermentation, and thus the sparkling process, takes place directly in the bottle. Base sparkling wines are generally made from a cuvée, a blend of wines of various types and/or vintages (if not a millesimato sparkling wine), which is bottled with the addition of sugars and selected yeasts (tirage). In the bottle, the wine goes through second fermentation during a horizontal resting period that lasts an average of 24 to 36 months, with some bottles resting as long as 120 months or more. Next, the remuage stage is performed: each bottle is rotated 1/8 and slightly tilted with the cork downward to settle the fermentation residue in the neck until it reaches the vertical position. The neck of the bottle is then frozen to facilitate removal of the frozen lees during disgorgement (degorgement). Finally, dosage takes place, with the addition of a mixture of sugars and wine to correct the loss of wine during disgorgement. The Classical Method, which is more time-consuming, expensive and complex than the Charmat Method, produces more structured and full-bodied wines with more complex notes mainly related to yeast and a finer, more persistent perlage.


Did you already know the differences between the two different methods?