Sparking Up a Sparkling
J Vineyards & Winery


In sparkling wine production California ranks among the best, but through the years tastes change and more is demanded of every producer. This is true especially with international expertise rising and competition for sparkling dollars ever more intense.


J’s house style, when introduced years before was appealing for it’s “green apple and pear” freshness but as consumers’ palates became more sophisticated, a trend toward diminishing market share indicated the wine was losing favor. The goal, develop a more complex style that appealed to a wider audience without losing its base.


Bursick first changed yeast strains and increased fermentation temperature 5 degrees to move out of the “green” aroma development. He initiated “sur lie” stirring of the “dirty” cuvee tanks five months prior to triage bottling. Those immediate improvements were followed by viticultural improvements that supported the new style.


The unappealing green aromas were eliminated and were replaced by riper, rounder aromas and flavors of ripe pear, with a creamy structure. Currently the wine is sold out at 30,000 case production levels.