Barry Jackson knows that great champagne is so much more than fizz. Photo by Chip Scheuer.
Barry Jackson is the winemaker for Equinox Champagne and Bartolo Wine, which he co-owns with his wife, Jennifer.
Why is methode champenoise a big deal?
It is a way to develop flavors and aromas in the sparkling wine over time—years. It's the way French champagne is made. If you just want fizz, buy the cheap stuff.
What processes make sparkling wines more difficult than traditional winemaking?
The secondary fermentation, aging, riddling and disgorging take place in each bottle individually. All these steps require handling the bottles numerous times.
Why did you take on the challenge of making sparkling wine?
Because it is more creatively challenging. To take an intrinsically unbalanced wine and make it magical is incredibly interesting.
What is most satisfying—and also what is more challenging—about making sparkling wine?
The most satisfying thing is to see and taste how the wines develop while aging over a period of years. The most challenging thing is trying to remain patient and financially solvent over this years-long period of time.
Why do people love champagne?
Because the popping of a champagne cork is the harbinger of a good time to come.