committed to craft
The hallmark of SEPPI wine is California terroir. Like Joe Phelps, we believe California vineyards are uniquely suited to produce world-class sparkling wine. We look for vineyards with influence from the Pacific Ocean because the daily mix of sun and fog produces grapes with natural sweetness and balanced acidity. The end result is that, unlike Champagne, we do not need to use large amounts of added sugar to complete our wines.
Great wine comes from great vineyards, and Kelsey is relentlessly passionate about finding the premier sites for California sparkling wine.
Joe Phelps was a pioneer in adapting French winemaking to the Napa Valley, and with SEPPI, Kelsey is expanding his legacy into sparkling wine. We do not cut corners or make any decisions that would compromise quality. All SEPPI wines are produced using the labor intensive “Methode Traditonalle” invented and perfected in Champagne, France.
Winemaking team Kelsey Phelps and Schramsberg alum Keith Hock carefully craft each vintage of SEPPI to meet their exacting criteria and age each bottle to perfection before release.
SEPPI is one of the few small-scale boutique sparkling wines produced in Norther California. We focus on quality, not quantity.
All SEPPI wines are vintage dated, not blended between years, a practice which is not typical for larger sparkling wine houses. Accordingly, each bottle of SEPPI represents a unique snapshot of the time and place in which it was produced.
Each bottle of SEPPI represents a distinct snapshot of the time and place in which it was produced.
Farming, Harvest & Press
We practice painstakingly careful viticulture throughout the year. Then, when it’s time to harvest we pick the grapes at night to ensure their acidity levels are crisp. At the winery, we press the fruit lightly and gently to make sure we only capture the freshest and purest juice.
Vinifying the Base Wine
We vinify our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in separate small lots, then blend them into base wines that will be secondarily fermented in each bottle. We use a mixture of stainless steel and oak barrels to give the base wine complexity.
The Second Fermentation
We add the base wine into each individual bottle (the same bottle that your SEPPI is in now!). We then add a small amount of yeast and sugar to each bottle and seal it with a crown cap. The yeast metabolizes the sugar, producing carbon dioxide which makes the wine sparkling.
After the second fermentation is complete, the spent yeast, or “lees” still remain in each bottle. We age the wine with the lees for a period of at least 18 months. This gives the wine finesse, complexity and delicious brioche flavors.
When the wine is ready, we need to remove the yeast. The process of removal is called riddling, where each bottle is slowly tilted downward and rotated over a period of three weeks, gently moving the yeast to the neck of the bottle.
Once the yeast is settled, we freeze the neck of the bottle by dipping it into liquid nitrogen (notice the frozen yeast pellets in the bottle necks above) and pop off the crown cap. The pressure from the bubbles ejects the frozen yeast pellet, resulting a clear wine.
Dosage & Labeling
Adding the dosage is the last step in the art of sparkling winemaking. We finish each wine with a specially crafted sugar-based liqueur, a process akin to seasoning a soup. We seal the wine with a cork, wire cage and foil capsule before labeling.
Pop & Share
Our vintage-dated Brut Rosé and Blanc de Blancs are food-friendly and delicious on their own — crisp on the palate with exuberant aromatics of California fruit.
Tête de Cuvee Circle
Join our inner circle to receive quarterly, customizable shipments of our exquisite méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines, exclusive member pricing, as well as invitations to events and first allocation of new releases.