Riddling & Disgorging

Aim of riddling is to help remove the yeast from the bottle subsequent to the secondary fermentation and ageing.

Riddling Methods
Method Description
  • Shake bottle before loading.
  • Twist, lift, slight shake, rattle & knock until yeast goes down into neck. Experienced riddlers can do 20 – 30,000 bottles a day.
  • 1 month ‘sur pointes’ to allow plug to compact.
  • Labour intensive, skilled and expensive.
Manual Gyro-palettes
  • Cage mounted on pyramidal base.
  • Cage is turned and bottles moved.
Mechanical gyro-palettes
  • Bottles loaded into large cages (350 - 4000 bottles) & on to programmed machine.
  • Much quicker, economical & space saving.
Encapsulated yeast
  • From Moet & Chandon, Institut Oenotechnique & CIVC
  • Yeast culture mixed with alginate extruded into calcium phosphate solution which forms beads with semi-permeable membrane.
  • Problems with leakage & dosing into bottles.

Disgorging was traditionally done ‘a la volée’ but is now almost always achieved by neck freezing, either in solution of brine, glycol or calcium chloride at -20°C for 8 - 10 min. Necks must be washed before disgorging.