Production process: what is sparkling wine?
Gases (mainly carbon dioxide) can be dissolved in wine to produce
a sparkling effect when the bottle is uncorked. This is normally achieved either by aeration, mixing with carbonated water or secondary fermentation. This process must be carried out in a licensed winery or in a suitably approved excise warehouse.
Wine is liable to the sparkling rates of duty if it has an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 5.5% but not exceeding 15% abv and:
- is in a closed bottle with excess pressure of three bars or more at 20 degrees celsius, or
- regardless of pressure, is contained in a closed bottle with a ‘mushroom shaped stopper’ held in place by a tie or fastening.
Note. one bar = normal atmospheric pressure (approximately 15lbs per square inch).
ALDA Schedule 1 section 2 provides the meaning of ‘sparkling.