Thomas Walk Vineyard’s Exubérance may be considered our crowning achievement. We use our "Velvet" and "Rosé" wines to bottle-ferment an “exuberant” champagne-style sparkling wine according to the “méthode traditionelle” - our Exubérance "Clairet" und Exubérance "Rosé. “Exubérance” is protected by copyright as a registered trademark for Thomas Walk Vineyard.
In order to produce our Exubérance, a certain amount of our Velvet and Rosé wines is portioned off just before bottling when our other wines receive a small but essential dose of sulphur to allow for good storage qualities. Exubérance is probably one of the most natural Champagne-style wines you will find. There is no addition of sulphur, this sparkling wine will keep well simply because of ist remarkable purity, and the carbon dioxide and hence pressure within the bottle, which develop as part of the fermentation process.
To kick off the “méthode traditionnélle” bottle-fermenting process, the “tirage”, an exact mixture of yeast an sugar, is added to the wine. Although fermentation is complete after a couple of weeks, the young Exubérance still remains on the yeast for several months, while the utilised yeast undergoes an enzymatic autolysis which gives the Exubérance its aroma and a delicate “perlage”.
The next step is to remove the yeast, using the traditional „remuage manuel“ method. Every bottle is turned upside down and, over a period of 21 days, turned sideways by 1/8th to ensure the yeast gathers in the bottleneck. Nowadays it is common practice to freeze the bottleneck at –20° so that the yeast sediment plug may be removed in its entirety. Thomas Walk Vineyard on the other hand remove the yeast by hand using the traditional method of „dégorgement à la volée“. Every bottle is held upside down and openend briefly to allow the yeast sediment to escape. This requires a certain amount of skill, to ensure the precise removal of the sediment. Every bottled is then topped up to the required level with a “dosage” of Exubérance wine. For Champagne-making the “dosage” is often used to influnce the flavour and degree of sweetness. The “dosage” used may consist of a remainder of the wine used as a base-wine for the Champagne or any other sweet wine.
When making our Exubérance we are absolutely loyal to the base-wine, respectively using either Thomas Walk Vineyard Velvet or Rosé wine or Exubérance itself.
Another difference to Champagne is Thomas Walk Vineyard’s use of ceramic swing-top caps to seal the Exubérance bottles. Usually, Champagne-makers use a crown cap to seal the bottle until the “dégorgement”, and the well-known Champagne-bottle corks as a final seal. The ceramic swing-top cap has the advantage of being (re-)useable throughout the entire process , or later on, when those who enjoy our Exubérance wish to leave some for later without compromising taste – another small way of manifesting our promise to sustainability.
It may be interesting to note, that many Champagnes are blended from various vintages of a particular base wine to form the so-called „assemblage“. For this reason Champagnes are marketed without the year of the vintage being marked on the label. In fact, as many as one-hundred different wines may be combined in one bottle of Champagne.
Thomas Walk Vineyard on the other hand use only 100% of a given year’s crop to produce vintage Exubérance. Honesty, both in terms of taste and in terms of the ingredients used, is valued highly at Thomas Walk Vineyard. Consequently, the taste and aroma of all the wines produced here in the South of Ireland may vary from one year to the next, reflecting the sun and the rain of that year, and how the earth and the climate combine to form a unique vintage.
Exubérance may be stored in your wine-cellar for 2-3 years, although this may be hard to put into practice since it is very tempting to savour a glass sooner rather than later!