Cave Carod Clairette de Die, Rhone Valley, France

75% Muscat Petits Grains, 25% Clariette. In 1973, Alain and Marcel Carod took over the winery that was founded by their Grandfather, in the heart of this obscure appellation, Clairette de Die. The A.O.C. Clairette de Die spreads over 1,300 hectares and 32 villages, located on hillsides. The soils are clay and limestone based. The Carod’s vineyard’s altitude (over 700 meters) makes it one of the highest in France. Clairette de Die is produced with the ancestral dioise method. The grapes are rapidly pressed after the harvest and then placed in vats at low temperatures (replicating the process used by the Voconces in ancient times who kept the jars in the icy waters of their local rivers). The half-fermented must is bottled and fermentation continues in the bottle, giving a naturally sparkling wine. Disgorging occurs at least six months after bottling, while the wine still contains sugar and has reached an alcohol content of 7 to 9 %.