Tirage or bottling is when the bottles are filled for secondary fermentation. After carefully adding yeasts and sugar to the base wine, the bottles are filled and closed with a crown cap and ditale/thimble. The formation of bubbles starts after the bottles have been stacked tidily. At least 2 years have to pass after tirage before a Franciacorta is ready!
This process eliminates the lee that forms in the bottle during secondary fermentation and is done after turning.The neck of the downturned bottle is immersed in a refrigerant solution at about -25°C which freezes roughly 2 centimetres of wine, forming an icicle compacted inside the thimble. This icicle contains the dead yeast cells and when the crown cap is opened it is expelled due to the effect of the high pressure inside the bottle. This way, the Franciacorta remains perfectly clear. The small quantity of wine and bubbles that escape, about 10 ml, are poured in again with the dosage and the bottle is finally closed with the classical mushroom cork.
On lee or yeasts during the refining phase, after completing the “bubbly” stage of the Franciacorta sparkling wine process. This gives the wine some individual characteristics due to the autolysis of the yeasts, donating fragrances that are different from those of the original base wine. This phase further enriches the aromatic and gustative structure of Franciacorta wines and is continued for at least 18 months which become at least 30 for vintage varieties and 60 for Reserve.