I’ve never been a great fan of sparkling wines, not even champagne, but I’ve always wondered how they get their bubbles. When I had the opportunity to visit the Murganheira wine cellars to find out how Portuguese espumante (sparkling wine) is made I gladly took it. There are several ways of making wine fizzy but at Murganheira, they use the same process as is used for champagne.
The cellars lie between the wine-producing villages of Ucanha and Sazedas in the Douro valley and you’d never guess from the modern architecture what lies in the cool dark caves beneath the showroom.
Even before the tour starts, I’m impressed by the colourful 3D artwork on one wall. Champagne flutes bulge out of the board but it’s only on closer inspection that I realise the entire thing is made from Murganheira bottle caps.