Category Archives: November

Dosage in Sparkling Wines

What is “Dosage” and what is it doing in my Sparkling?

Festive Season

It’s December and its time for a dosage of the holiday festive season. A time for family get together at the beach, and a time for reflection.  Time to enjoy the fruits of a vignerons hard work, sparkling wines. Traditional sparkling wines are not that easy to produce.

At the family get together, tension can be high so sparkling wine is the answer to calm the nerves. One thing we can all do to arm ourselves by learning a little bit about the wine we’ll be drinking.

If you’re lucky, that’ll involve some sparkling wine or what the French are allowed to call Champagne.

One of the best words you can chuck out there is “dosage” (you can use a French accent if you like.)  Of course, then you need know what it is.

Enjoying Harris Organic Wines
Enjoying Harris Organic Wines

Essentially, dosage is some form of sweetness (sugar, or wine and sugar and brandy) added to a sparkling to balance it the palate structure.

Grapes in the Champagne region have to struggle to ripen so they end up with less sugar to offer the wine. Many European sparklings and Champagnes are aggressively acidic and low in alcohol. The dosage is a simple corrective measure, to either balance the acid or to actually impart some level of sweetness. And depending on the amount of dosage added, you’ll end up with a variety of sparklings, defined by terms that can be a bit confusing but are basically a scale from sweetest to driest.

In Australia’s warmer climate the wines have a higher potential alcohol and less searing acid allowing for more balance and less dosage to balance the palate.

Watch on Youtube: Disgorging Sparkling Wine

Dosage in Sparkling Wine

Here are the recommended dosage for a particular style of sparkling wine.

Doux: 50 or more grams of sugar added per litre. This will taste outrageously sweet to most sparkling wine palates. It’s about 2 teaspoons’ per bottle—but back in the days of yesteryear, Champagne tended to come a lot sweeter. Do you remember the hollow stem glasses with the cube of sugar in the base, exuding the effervescing bubbles to continue? I do.

Demi-Sec: Dosed with 35 to 50 grams of sugar. Again, higher on the sweet sparkling spectrum than most of us are willing to go.  In Australia there are a lot of cheap sparkling with this dosage, namely the Australian invention of red sparkling “burgundies” .


Sec: “Sec,” in French, means dry. But dry here actually indicates a medium-sweet sparkling. 17 to 35 grams of sugar, on average a teaspoon per litre.

Extra Sec: Literally “Extra Dry,” which would seem to indicate a very acidic wine but here means a bit less sweet than Sec, thanks to about 12 to 20 grams of sugar.

Brut: A mere 6 to 15 grams of sugar added, really for balance in Australia. Slightly rounder than “Extra Brut” because of the increased added sugar, and the type of sparkling we tend to drink most.

Extra Brut: With fewer than 6 grams of sugar added, this may come off with usually a higher apparent acid on the palate and accentuate the carbonation. However with ripe grapes the acid is reduced.

This is the style of modern handmade traditional method sparkling of the Swan Valley.

Brut Nature: For the winemaker to showcase the essential nature (hence the name) of the sparkling wine or Champagne with no sugar added. This is not common, however more common in the the Swan Valley that other regions. Higher notes of minerality and acid, basically a party in your mouth, and everyone’s invited, except sugar!

Enjoy in moderation.


Twenty-One Year Celebration with Organic Sparkling!!

 Celebrating 21 years with Organic Sparkling

Harris Organic Wines
Harris Organic Award Winning Wines

Organic Sparkling

Our organic sparkling celebration will be held on the December 3rd.  Furthermore it’s a Saturday evening from  5 – 8 pm . Wine club members  and your friends are welcome to attend.

We are celebrating 20 years of organic winemaking and 21 years of ownership with our organic sparkling chardonnay and sparkling shiraz. Besides a few nibbles and good conversation at Harris Organic Wine and Spirits.
Watch the sun go down with a few friends, and then merrily depart for dinner at one of your favourite Swan Valley restaurants.  Also, bookings are essential  for this event please.

organic sparkling - Form one Planet
Form one Planet at Harris Organic

For more information contact Harris Organic Wines.

Swan Valley Sunset
Summer Sunset

Harris Organic Wines are celebrating 21 years of cellar door sales with a festive season sundowner on Saturday the 1st  December. Members of the Swan Valley community and guests will celebrate the festive season with organic sparkling vintage wines made by Duncan Harris, vigneron and proprietor.

Duncan said, ” He started his organic vineyard from scratch and cant believe that we have been open for 21 years”. Where have all the years gone?”

Established in 1998 and open for business in the year 2000, Duncan has been busy establishing the only certified organic winery in Perth. Duncan makes a wide range of wine styles. Made from grapes from his organic vineyard, the wines including hand disgorged traditional method sparklings.  In addition, these are the wines that will be available at the festive season sundowner for all attendees to enjoy. And the opportunity to stock up for the festive season.

In addition, always look for the logo on the products you are purchasing for your assurance of being “organic”. Harris Organic Wines has been producing certfied organic wines since 2006.

New Southern Cross Certified logo
Southern Cross Certified logo

Long Lunch – Organic News

Long Table Lunch

Long Lunch and a long table
Long Lunch at Harris Organic

Food & Organic Wine Long Table Lunch’s

Come to a long lunch in the underground cellar with the organic winemaker, where we are hosting a series of Spring and Autumn long table lunches. Be our guests and enjoy a delicious three-course feast with winemaker Duncan, including lots of organic wines to match the foods. While you are in the underground cellar, experience a barrel tasting of some rich liqueurs.
The cost of the degustation includes a discount on our organic wines for you to take home.
Ph: (08) 9296 0216.  for more information contact Harris Organic Wines.

chicken in cellar
chicken in cellar

Down in the underground cellar amongst the casks of organic wine awaiting your arrival.

Serving Dessert
Serving Dessert

Long Lunch

Dessert sometimes consists of a slice of salted caramel tart or tartlet, this year the mulberries have finished early.

Last years menu consisted of :

The Menu: Entree: Cold savoury platter of selected cheeses, dips and bread served with verdelho and chenin blanc.

Main Course:  a hot savoury platter to share and a vibrant and colourful salad served with shiraz and chardonnay.

Dessert: Salted caramel chocolate praline tart served with rose muscat and our nine-year-old liqueur verdelho.

Also, the above will be similar but not the same as the last long lunch.

Book now for the next long lunch at Harris Organic Wines.