Want to learn more about Kally Verjus Sparkler? Founders Katie and Scott go deep on inspiration, ingredients, and more.
It starts with a field
The Verjus Sparkler starts with our own verjus, crafted from hand-picked Chardonnay grapes. Grown in the best California appellations, our grapes are young, tart and bright when picked, giving the Verjus Sparkler its unique, complex and sophisticated profile. We make our own verjus every season. Why? Because we’re obsessed by the details: grape quality, varietal, terroir and pressing techniques all impact the verjus quality. Our verjus is the best because we oversee every step of creating it.
While verjus is delicious on its own, our sparkler brings out the true magic in the young grapes. Bubbles release the delicate Chardonnay notes, accentuate the tartness, and add refined complexity to the drink.
The Verjus Sparkler Story
The seed for the Verjus Sparkler came from customers. Fans of our Kally verjus shared glowing reports of spritzing our verjus to make a simple but elegant non-alcoholic drink. So we followed their lead — and loved the results so much we decided to bottle this refined combo to make it easy for everyone to enjoy.
Who else is drinking verjus?
Our customers aren't the only ones drinking verjus. Some of the biggest fans of verjus are the people who know food and drinks best - chefs and sommeliers. We regularly uncover verjus connoisseurs and aficionados among the best in the food and wine world. Verjus-based drinks are their favorite go-tos after work and the weekends - for the same reason we love them so much - “adult”, complex and delicious.
Our first date with Verjus
In fact, it’s just one of those experts who told us about verjus the first time. A bartender from one of the World's 50 Best bars mentioned verjus to us in a hushed tone, as if revealing a great secret of his craft. When we tried it for ourselves, we were immediately sold. Verjus is not only the hero of Verjus Sparker, but all of the Kallys we make.
What's so special about verjus?
The magic of verjus comes down to chemistry. It’s all about the magical balance of sugar and acid. The grapes are picked so early that the fruit has not yet had the chance to turn acid into sugar - which happens as part of the natural ripening process. The pH of our verjus is almost the same as wine - which makes it easy to confuse verjus for an alcoholic beverage. But while wine achieves its acidity through fermentation, verjus possesses those bright acids from the very beginning. You can taste that natural, untouched quality in every sip.
It’s all about the timing
The high acid level in verjus is possible because of our early harvest. How early?? Very early. It’s likely that Kally’s harvest is the first in California each year. While the rest of California grape growers are still a month (or more!) away from thinking about harvest, we are doing daily checks of the grapes' sweetness. Our goal is to harvest fruit with exactly the right balance of acid and sugar. Most years grapes come in at 12 brix - less than half the sweetness of grapes picked to make your favorite glass of wine.
Our verjus making follows a careful process. Grapes are picked early in the morning and carefully sorted to include just the best fruit. We then gently press the fruit to extract the beautiful golden juice. After a few days of settling in the tank, our verjus is carefully filtered to remove any sediments from the pressing process and stored until we’re ready to use it in Kally.
What's special about Verjus Sparkler?
Our Verjus Sparkler captures all of the outstanding characteristics of verjus and elevates it with bubbles. The carbonation draws out the tartness and pops the chardonnay characteristics to the surface, activating the taste buds. With a simple ingredients list, Verjus Sparkler is remarkably complex, elevated, and inviting.
How do you drink Verjus Sparkler?
The Sparkler is delicious on its own, chilled and served in your glass of choice - tumbler, wine glass, champagne flute... But for the creative souls out there, it's easy to lean into the Sparkler's versatility. Adding a spring of mint, a slice of lemon, or a dash of bitters adds extra complexity and personality to the Verjus Sparkler, creating an endless array of options for amazing drinks.
What's the hardest part of making Verjus Sparkler?
Timing the harvest of grapes is three parts diligence and one part luck. Just a day or two difference can make a big difference in the sweetness of the grapes - and the tartness of our verjus. Grape sweetness also varies from vine to vine, especially during the early part of the growing seasons when we’re harvesting. A great verjus harvest means vigilance and dedication to getting the details right.
What do you taste in Verjus Sparkler?
We taste bright, sunny California fields. The chardonnay grapes give structure and balance, with bright tartness from the malic and tartaric acids that form naturally in the grapes. Notes of green apple make a unique and delicious drink that is both simple and complex.
What's your favorite pairing with Verjus Sparkler?
One of the greatest attributes of Verjus Sparkler is its remarkable ability to pair well with a wide range of options. Take the Verjus Sparkler "high" with crab cakes, burrata, and fennel, or "low" with grilled cheese or margarita pizza. It's the perfect companion to any food journey.