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French term (engl. riddling) for a process commonly used in the production of sparkling wine(champagne, sparkling wine) as preparation for the subsequent disgorgement (removal of the lees). The process was invented around 1813 by Antoine de Muller (1788-1859), an immigrant from Germany (Swabia) and the legendary cellar master of the famous champagne house Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin in Reims (Champagne).

Shaking aids

Already at the dosage stage (addition of the "liqueur de tirage") for triggering the second fermentation in the bottle, many producers are increasingly adding so-called riddling aids, which make it easier to precipitate the yeast deposit. This is usually a mixture of bentonite and tannin, which prevents the resulting granular deposit from sticking to the bottle glass and causes it to slide evenly along the inside wall of the bottle. The bottles are placed with their necks in the roof-shaped riddling tables (pupitres), which were initially very steeply positioned (boards with round holes have been used since ancient times to drain rinsed wine bottles). In the beginning, the riddling desks have an almost horizontal position and are then placed more and more steeply (see picture). As a rule, a pupitre holds around 60 bottles of sparkling wine.

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Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

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