A wine educator contacted me from Italy wanting to have some clarification (har har) about whether or not riddling and disgorgement happens with the TRANSFER METHOD (aka TANK METHOD) when it comes to bubbly.
I think that yes, definitely. She thinks that no, definitely not.
She could be right, I could be right, I don't know! I would like to know for the goodness of sparkling wine.
Tank/transfer method bottles get riddled don't they? And then disgorged into a tank?
Ack! Someone ask their local Chef de Cave and find out!
I will update the diagram to be correct. Here are the conflicting diagrams:
I know this thread is from 2 years ago, but just to add... Transfer method and Transversage are NOT the same thing.
Transversage is what Morgan has stated above. It's used for making large formats of Champagne and for the 187 ml bottles of high quality sparkling wines for airlines. The secondary fermentation happens in bottle and the wines are disgorged but transferred to a pressurized tank where they get the dosage added before being bottled into the appropriate sized bottle. They do this because secondary fermentations that occur in those tiny and large sized bottles does not produce an appropriate effect (as in the right amount of pressure/ size of bubbles, etc)
The Transfer Method is not the same thing. It is used for any size of bottle and most commonly the 750ml. There is no riddling or disgorgement. The secondary fermentation still happens in bottle however instead of disgorging them, the wines are chilled and transferred to a pressurized tank where they are clarified usually by filtration and then bottled. The lees are therefore removed by in tank/ bulk. This is often used for sparkling wines from New Zealand (Lindauer is one) and Australia but also for German Sekt (although Sekt can be made in the traditional method or by charmat too).
Everyone agrees that 'Transversage' is for the highest quality wines with autolytic notes like Champagne. However, not everyone agrees that there is a high quality of wines produced from the Transfer method.
The Oxford Companion says that eventually transfer wines will be phased out because they bring all the disadvantages of a traditionally made wine without the benefit (ie higher quality). However, I'm pretty sure that Tom Stevenson in Christie's Encyclopedia (I don't have the book with me- yikes) mentioned new technologies such as tanks that have propellers that move the lees around and can give the same autolytic character of trad method wines.
Hope this helps if anyone is still reading this thread.
Thanks for your detailed explanation of the 2 tank methods.