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Remuage

At this stage, the wine is far from finished. There still remains used yeasty sediment inside the bottles. The wines are now brought to a cellar where they will age for some time on their lees. Traditionally, the wines are placed on racks called pupitres. A pupitre consists of two heavy boards that are connected by a hinge. Each of the boards has 60 holes that are cut so that a bottle can rest, by the neck, in any position between horizontal and vertical. At first, the bottles lie horizontally, and gradually, through a process called remuage, they are hand “riddled.” This is a tedious process where each individual bottle is rotated and tilted very slightly over time so that the yeast is loosened and settles into the neck of the bottle. Machines with computerized pallets have been designed to perform in days what takes around 8 weeks to do by hand in the traditional manner. First developed by producers of Spanish Cava, these Gyropalettes can riddle large quantities of bottles at once, and are used increasingly worldwide.