Bellangelo Sparkling Wines Pop With Excitement, Top Honors

Industry: Food and Drink

Winery Continues to Earn High Marks as Top Sparkling Wine Producer, Marks Second Consecutive Year as a Wine & Spirits Magazine Top 100 U.S. Sparkling Wine

Geneva, NY (PRUnderground) August 6th, 2019

Sparkling wine demand continues to grow, and one Finger Lakes winery has positioned itself to reach premium consumers.  Bellangelo, on the west side of Seneca Lake, proudly offers a line-up of five sparkling wines, two of which are honored in the upcoming August issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine as among the best U.S. sparklers.  The wines are produced in three styles, including the traditional Champagne method, a modern take on the ancestral method, and the charmat method.

“I visited Limoux, France a decade ago, and fell in love with sparkling wines made in the Ancestral Method,” says winemaker, Christopher Missick.  Wines of Limoux produced with this method rely on the sugar naturally present in the grape for the sugar used to produce the carbonation in the bottle during the bottle fermentation.  Generally, fermentation is stopped with cold temperatures, and then bottled. The fermentation begins again, and the carbonation from the bottle fermentation contributes to the carbon dioxide in the wine.

Bellangelo adopts this model, with a modern spin Missick refers to as the “Modern Method.”  “Rather than stopping the fermentation with temperature control, we monitor the fermentation until we note that there are only 24 grams of sugar per liter remaining in the wine.  At that point, we crossflow filter the wine with our state-of-the-art machine, choose an appropriately vigorous yeast strain, and bottle the wine. The wines are disgorged about 6 to 9 months later.”  These early disgorgements are a different approach from the longer bottle aging that the winery’s traditional method sparkling wines receive.

Missick notes that picking decisions and potential alcohol by volume are critical in his decision process, but chalks up the natural climate of the Finger Lakes for providing the backbone of acidity so crucial to great sparkling wines. “We have beautiful warm summers, but by harvest, the cool nights help us preserve the natural acidity.  We simply never acidify our wines.”  

The results are earning praise with critics.  A rarity in the sparkling wine genre, Bellangelo’s 2017 Sparkling Gewurztraminer produced in the modern method has received the honor of inclusion in “Best US Sparkling 2019” by Wine & Spirits Magazine with a score of 90 points, and has earned high marks from James Suckling (91 points) and Jamie Goode (92 points).  Bellangelo’s 2014 Brut, has also received a string of 90+ point scores and is featured alongside the Sparkling Gewurztraminer. 2019 marks the second year in a row that the magazine has honored Bellangelo sparkling wines as among the best in the US. The magzaine also recognized Bellangelo’s 2016 Riesling as one of America’s best Rieslings.

2019 will see Missick continuing to push boundaries with the sparkling wine program.  “We intend on producing a sparkling Chenin Blanc, Blanc de Noir from Merlot, and a cremant of Riesling, among others.  Currently available are Bellangelo’s 2016 Sparkling Riesling, from barrel fermented Riesling, 2018 Sparkling Cabernet Franc Rose, 2017 Sparkling Gewurztraminer, 2014 Brut, and charmat method Sparkling Cuvée.

Missick adds, “In New York, sparkling wine is our history.  It is the style of wine that first put the Finger Lakes on the map in the 1860’s.  I’m lucky to play a part in this legacy.”

About Bellangelo Winery

Villa Bellangelo is a premium family owned Finger Lakes winery located on the sloping hillsides of Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes AVA. A producer of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Sparkling Wines, the winery is situated at the base of the oldest remaining vineyard in Yates County, planted in 1866. The winery is located at 150 Poplar Point Rd., Dundee, NY 14837, and operates a satellite tasting room at 226 Turk Rd., Geneva, NY 14456, and can be found on the web at Bellangelo also produces the brand Can Do, the first canned wine produced in the Finger Lakes.a line of canned wines. As a fun fact, winemaker Chris Missick is the only full-time winemaker in the U.S. that is also admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States.

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