Riddling Racks – What You Must Know Before Buying Them


Many people reading this right now would wonder how riddling racks have come to be known as the wine-maker’s secret weapon. Well, you are about to get some insight as to why this is the case.

Wines have been with us for thousands of years and are primarily produced using four methods. The common denominator of all four methods is the introduction of carbon dioxide that gives the drink its sparkling effect.

The simplified method is used in soft drink production, while the more complex methods that utilize various degrees of fermentation and involves injection of smaller but longer-lasting bubbles of carbon dioxide produce the wines and champagne.

An important step in the production of champagne and other wines, (more especially champagne) is a process known as riddling. In this process, champagne (which is still in the form that has undergone primary fermentation and bottling) is subjected to secondary fermentation which is induced by adding several grams of yeast and rock sugar, and then corking the bottle with a crown cap. The bottle is then placed in champagne riddling racks called pupitres for he wine or champagne to “age”.

The riddling wine racks keep the bottle with the cork downward at an angle of 45 degrees, gradually tilting it to over a period of 1.5 to 3 years until the bottle is upside down. This allows the lees (yeast residue) to move to the neck of the bottle and bring out the full flavour of the champagne. Once it is time, the champagne bottles are removed from them, the neck frozen and the bottle disgorged to remove the lees. It is re-corked soon after to preserve the carbon dioxide content.

The use of champagne riddling racks is still very much around today, especially in the champagne region of France where this method of wine production was introduced. This is despite the fact that riddling is now done mechanically in many places.

It is now possible to buy riddling wine racks at many stores for decorative storage of wine, but if you still want a touch of the original methods of riddling, you can construct a champagne riddling rack and use it in your home to store your champagne.

So next time you pop your champagne bottles, you could impress your friends about your knowledge of the role of champagne riddling racks in the entire process.


Source by Ernesto L