August 09, 2023 - 0 comments
Pet Nat, it’s sparkling, it’s refreshing, you’ve drank it, you’ve heard about it, but what exactly is a Pet Nat?
Pet Nat short for Pétillant Naturel, is a type of sparkling natural wine. It is produced using an ancient winemaking method known as méthode ancestrale, which predates the traditional méthode champenoise used to make Champagne. (méthode ancestrale actually dates back to monks in the 1500s in Limoux, France.)
Pet Nat is known for its lively and effervescent character, with a natural bubble that is produced through the continuation of the initial fermentation process in the bottle. Unlike traditional sparkling wines, there is no addition of secondary yeast and sugar to create carbonation.
To put that in simpler terms, when yeast eats (ferments) the sugar in the grapes, it produces CO2. A Pet Nat has the wine placed in a sealed bottled before the fermentation is finished, so all this CO2 that is released by the yeast eating the sugar, becomes bubbles trapped in the wine.
The winemaking process begins with the harvest of grapes, which are then pressed to extract the juice. The juice is left to ferment in a vessel, allowing the natural yeasts present on the grape skins to start the fermentation process.
Once the fermentation begins, the juice is transferred to the bottle. The fermentation continues in the bottle, with the remaining sugars converting into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process creates the natural bubbles found in Pet Nat.
Pet Nat wines are known for their unique flavor profiles, which vary depending on the grape varieties used and the region of production. They often exhibit fresh and fruity characteristics, with a slight natural sweetness and a lively acidity. Best served chilled and often enjoyed young.
If you're curious about the champenoise method used to make Champagne and how it differs, stay tuned. We will cover this method and other winemaking techniques in upcoming posts and on our website.