by Fred McMillin
for October 15, 1998

 

Barefoot Goes Bubbly


Prologue

c.1910—In France, Eugene Charmat develops a method for producing sparkling (bubbling) wines in large tanks rather than in individual bottles. This reduces greatly the cost of manufacturing such wine.

1962—The distinguished British authority Andre Simon writes that "since Repeal in America, the making of sparkling wines by the Charmat method has gained some importance."

1993—Dr. Marion Baldy: "During the last two decades the Charmat process has consistently accounted for around 75% of American sparkling-wine production."

1998—Barefoot Cellars winemaker Jennifer Wall announces her newest wine, Barefoot Bubbly, made by the Charmat process.


The Rest of the Story

Jennifer WallWhy do we care if Jennifer creates a new wine? Well, look at her record since she became head winemaker four years ago.

She made the first Barefoot Zinfandel, and this year it already has won a Gold and a "Best of Class," making it the lowest- price Gold-Medal Zin in America.

Her White Zinfandel won five Golds last year.

During her first three years sales have increased from 150,000 to 200,000 cases. This bubbly is bound to bump them up more.


The Wine

Barefoot Bubbly "Barefoot Bubbly" California Champagne
Charmat Method Sparkling Wine
Barefoot Cellars, Santa Rosa, CA.
Tasting Notes—Much more gentle than the higher- priced bottle-fermented types. Crisp apple flavors rather than a yeasty jolt. Particularly suitable for big parties on a small budget.
Rating—RECOMMENDED in its price range.
Contact—Adrienne Barner, (800) 750-8828
Price -$8


Postscript

The first American sparkling wine was made in 1842 by one Nicholas Longworth in Cincinnati. He certainly could have used the Charmat approach. Instead, he fermented in the bottle and nearly gave up the whole thing. Why? In one year he made 50,000 bottles; 42,000 EXPLODED!

Note: For more about Barefoot bargains, see the June 9,1998 WineDay titled " Lo and Behold the Pink and the Gold."


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

 

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