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Recommended by my Gardener I was still amazed at the size and how healthy these plants look. Beautifully packed in straw to keep them healthy and delivered on time.
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Recommended by my Gardener I was still amazed at the size and how healthy these plants look. Beautifully packed in straw to keep them healthy and delivered on time.
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Image of Champagne Grape Collection

    Champagne Recipe

    Whilst it is no longer permitted to use the name 'Champagne' forl wines made outside of the Champagne region in France ', here is the all-important recipe to make your own very fine-quality sparkling wine using the same method as used in France; what you decide to call it is up to you!

    In the seventeenth century barrels of wine used to be shipped to England from the Champagne district of France, which now covers 55,000 acres. The wine arrived in winter and was subsequently bottled. When the warm spring arrived the wine became active again and started to ferment, but this time in the sealed bottles. The gas produced could not escape and the weaker bottles exploded! The stronger bottles resulted in the first recorded sparkling wine or Champagne as it is known today.

    Warning

    Wine-making is a science, albeit great fun. You will be following this advice at your own risk entirely. Under no circumstances can we accept any responsibility for accident, misadventure or error since your manufacturing is totally outside our control.

    • Pick your own grapes when fully ripened - that is, when they are fully developed, sweet and ready to eat raw.
    • After picking and removing any stalk or stems rinse in cold water, taking care not to bruise or squash any.
    • For pink or rosé wines leave the skins on the red grapes; for white wines, carefully remove the skins.
    • Obtain a thoroughly clean plastic washing-up bowl and to this add one gallon (4.5 litres) of clean, lukewarm water and approximately 2 kilos of grapes.
    • Once the grapes are tipped into the water they should now be squashed and bruised – ideally, squeezed by hand. Do not mince or put through a liquidiser or similar mechanical means since the pips must not be crushed or split but must be allowed to float within the pulpy mixture.
    • Now cover the bowl with clean scrim or muslin to allow the ‘base wine’ to breathe but at the same time keeping out fruit flies or vinegar flies.
    • Now place the bowl in a warm, well-ventilated place where a temperature of 70-80°f (21-26°C) can be maintained.
    • Remove the muslin daily and give your ‘brew’ a good stir with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. This process should be repeated for 8 days.
    • Then remove the muslin and strain the liquor through a jelly bag or fine muslin cloth. With a twisting motion to the bag or cloth screw out as much juice as possible. The skin and pips left behind should be buried in the compost heap or in the garden. To turn them out loosely on to the soil will only attract flies.
    • Your juice or wine base will now have a distinct grape wine ‘bouquet’. You are on your way!
    • To this liquor or juice add 2 lbs (900 grams) of white granulated sugar. Stir this until dissolved - but do not be alarmed if the sugar does not fully dissolve.
    • The resultant liquor is now poured as it is into a demijohn provided with a fermentation lock. To each gallon (4.54 litres) of liquor add ¼ ounce (7 grams) of champagne yeast and seal the demijohn with the fermentation lock, not forgetting to put the essential ordinary water in the ‘lock’ itself to provide a proper ‘bubble seal’.
    • The demijohn should now be placed in a warm dark place to merrily ‘work’. The yeast will assist the proper fermentation of the grape juice and the sugar you added. A temperature of 80-85°f (26-30°C) is ideal - airing cupboards are suitable if you don’t mind scenting the linen a little!
    • When fermentation has ceased (when the bubbles stop rising from the fermentation lock) - usually about 8 weeks – carefully strain off the wine that has now resulted into a clean vessel. Take particular care not to let the decomposed debris at the bottom of the demijohn enter your infant wine. You can siphon off the wine with a plastic tube to save disturbing the sediment. This is the foundation of your sparkling wine.
    • If you wish, it can now be bottled and stored away to make a very palatable dry table wine.
    • To complete the process of turning your wine into a sparkling wine stir into each gallon (4.54 litres) of liquor a further 10-12 ounces (280-340 grams) of white granulated sugar; keep it warm – around 75°f (24°C) - and stir occasionally until completely dissolved.
    • Now, using a clean funnel lined with filter paper, let the wine you have made drip through into warm, dry, sterilised heavy glass bottles – old Champagne or Asti Spumanti bottles are ideal since they will accept the pressure that the maturing wine develops. No other form of glass bottle or plastic will do.
    • Fill the bottles to within 1½" (4 cm) of the tops – i.e., allow 1½" (4 cm) air gap at the top.
    • Add a quarter teaspoon of champagne yeast to each bottle.
    • Then cork the bottles with new sterilised sparkling wine corks (from shops that
      specialise in wine making equipment) and wire down. Ordinary corks will not do as they would blow out with the pressure of secondary fermentation. This takes place in the bottle and gives the familiar sparkling effect
    • After filling the bottles and sealing them, store the bottles on their sides so that the corks are moistened by the wine and thereby form an airtight seal.
    • The ideal storage temperature is around 60-65°f (15-19°C). The bottles should remain at this temperature for about 6 months.
    • Each bottle should be carefully rolled once a week; your wine is alive and needs to know that you are caring for its well-being!

    After this process treatment it must be kept in cooler conditions - about 40-60°F (5-15°C) for about 18 months; the longer it is left the better it will be. Then serve in the usual way - not ice cold but just gently chilled!

    The process we have described is the correct procedure, and the complex organic chemical process of fermentation formed by the champagne yeast breaking down enhances and improves the bouquet or final flavour of your wine. It is now, if you have the patience, that you have the opportunity of putting into practice the final skill, known as dégorgement – the removal from the bottles of the yeast sediment.

    Dégorgment - Making Your Sparkling Wine The Finest You Can

    Ideally during the secondary fermentation period the bottles should be placed in an inverted position. The reason for this is that as each bottle is given a quick twist every week over a three-month period all of the yeast sediment will shift to the base of the cork.

    Now comes the art of dégorgement!

    Usually this is done by freezing the necks of the bottles and then removing the corks with care - thus allowing you to remove a ‘plug’ of frozen wine, yeast and sediment. By far the easiest way of freezing the necks of the bottles is to purchase a pipe-freezing kit from your local DIY store (as used to repair pipes where there is no means of turning off the supply).

    The bottles are then topped up with a little spare wine (free of yeast sediment) to which you can add a dessert-spoonful of brandy or one level teaspoonful of white sugar per bottle. Immediately re-cork as before – you can use the same or new corks. If using the same corks boil vigorously in clean water for 10 minutes before re-use. These corks are then wired and the wine will improve as time goes by.


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    Champagne Grape Collection

    Image of Champagne Grape Collection

    A truly novel gift! Two of the classic Champagne grape varieties and the all important recipe to make a fine quality sparkling wines. Can be grown outside. Self fertile.
    Available Now
    Supplied as bare root grafted vines approximately 12" - 18" (30 - 45 cm) tall including roots.

    More information about Champagne Grape Collection

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    Grape Vine 'Chardonnay'

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    Eating / Wine Grape. Gorgeously sweet golden grapes suitable for eating and wine. Suitable for outdoor and protected cropping. Self Fertile.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a containerised grafted vine approximately 12" - 18" (30 - 45 cm) tall including pot.

    More information about Grape Vine 'Chardonnay'

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    Grape Vine 'Pinot Noir'

    sq grape vine pinot noir 005

    Eating / Wine Grape. The noble grape of Burgundy and Champagne; eats well too. Rich black fruits. Suitable for outdoor and protected cropping. Self Fertile.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a containerised grafted vine approximately 12" - 18" (30 - 45 cm) tall including pot.

    More information about Grape Vine 'Pinot Noir'

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    Image of Champagne Grape Collection

    Champagne Grape Collection


    From £10.00 to £13.50
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    Image of Grape Vine Chardonnay

    Grape Vine 'Chardonnay'


    From £10.00 to £13.50
    Add to Trug...Add to Trug...More information...
    sq grape vine pinot noir 005

    Grape Vine 'Pinot Noir'