Disgorgement consists in removing the deposit that the riddling process has driven into the neck of the bottle. Traditionally, disgorgement was done by hand. The deposit was ejected under pressure, holding the bottle neck-down, opening it while quickly tilting it back upwards for a minimum loss of wine.
Today, bottles are usually disgorged by freezing the deposit. The neck of the bottle is plunged into a refrigerating solution at approximately – 25°C, trapping the deposit in a plug of ice that is then expelled under pressure when the bottle is opened.
Now the cellar master can add his final touch. Dosage is an addition of an ingenious mixture of sugar cane and wine known as the « liqueur d’expédition ». Its purpose is to soften and impart roundness to the wine which, after fermentation, no longer contains sugar.
After addition of the dosage, the bottles are corked with a cork stopper that is squeezed into the neck of the bottle. The cork is then covered with a protective metal cap and held in place with a wire hood called the « muselet ». The last step consists in « dressing » the bottle with a label and a foil cap over the cork.