Winemaking

Handcrafted American Sparkling Wines

Schramsberg Vineyards focuses on producing the finest and most complex hand-crafted sparkling wines in California. Preserving century-old traditions, many of our viticultural and winemaking practices are still carried out by hand. Our tête de cuvée sparkling wines receive an impressive seven to eight years of bottle aging prior to release, the balance receiving two or more years. All of our wines are enjoyable upon release, but can also be cellared for 20 years or more.

Most of Schramsberg’s viticultural and winemaking practices are carried out by hand: grapes are hand-harvested, the wines are handcrafted, the bottles are stacked and riddled in underground caves. The J. Schram, Schramsberg’s top Chardonnay offering, is even hand-labeled.

Barrel-Fermentation and Aging

Unique among California sparkling wine houses, Schramsberg Vineyards ferments 25% of its juice in oak barrels to produce a richer, more luscious style. Schramsberg has also developed a library of reserve base wines that are barrel aged for up to 10 years. These wines provide additional refinement and complexity to the finished products. In its top two sparkling wines, the J. Schram and Schramsberg Reserve, 40 percent of the components are barrel-fermented.

Méthode Traditionelle is the labor-intensive and costly process whereby wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle, creating bubbles. This process is used after a base wine is made using steel tanks or oak barrels to perform a primary fermentation. All Champagne and most high-quality sparkling wines are made by this process.