International Code of Oenological Practices

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Continuous secondary fermentation in a closed tank

II.4.4.1 Continuous secondary fermentation in a closed tank


Process of secondary fermentation, in a system of several tanks, hermetically closed and connected to one another, in which the base wine is introduced in a continuous manner at the entry of the system.


To produce sparkling wines in a continuous manner.


This process comprises the following operations:

a)        Preparation of the base wine,

b)       Preparation of the tirage liqueur,

c)        Inoculation with yeasts,

d)       Tirage under constant pressure in a closed tank, in a continuous manner,

e)       Continuous passage through the tanks of the system in which the yeasts are retained and remain immobilised, bound or deposited for a long time,

f)         Cooling to -3°C and clarification of the sparkling wine,

g)        Addition of the dosage,

h)       Isobaric bottling.

The system, once started, functions non-stop for several years (3 to 5 years according to circumstances).

Remark :

Only operations (c) and (d) above are different from the operations of secondary fermentation in a closed tank.

Recommendation of OIV:

Refer to the sections concerning these operations in the present International Code of Oenological Practices.

The other operations are executed in a continuous manner, without external intervention.