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French term for removing the yeast sediment (blowdown, de-yeasting) that occurs in the production of sparkling wine(spark ling wine, champagne) during bottle fermentation. The process takes place after remuage (shaking), in which the yeast residues are successively transported into the neck of the bottle in operations that take place regularly over a longer period of time. Before the invention of remuage, the residue was not removed, but the bottles were stored and marketed Cul-en-l'air (with the bottom of the bottle facing upwards). There are two different degorgement processes:

Warm disgorgement

The manual process (disgorgement à la ancienne = traditional, old-fashioned; disgorgement à la volée = with verve), which is only used in smaller wineries today, is relatively laborious and requires great skill and experience. The crown cork is removed with a degorging hook (in the picture below right). Care must be taken to ensure that not too much sparkling wine or carbon dioxide is lost when the yeast sediment is shot out. The degorgeur holds the bottle closed with the thumb of his left hand and checks the clarity of the wine. An experienced degorgeur can process up to 400 bottles per hour, which means 8 to 10 seconds of effort per bottle.

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Egon Mark
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