Pét-Nat: Pétillant Naturel
If you love wine, you've heard these two ringing, tickling words -. Pét-Nat.
The sound is fun, catchy and easy to remember. Like the wine itself.
But what exactly does Pét-Nat mean?
Pét-Nat is the abbreviation for Pétillant Naturellewhich means "naturally sparkling".
Unlike sparkling wine or champagne
Basically, a Pét-Nat a wine that is bottled before the end of the first fermentation. In this way, thanks to the natural sugars in the grapes, fermentation continues in the bottle, while the carbon dioxide produced by this process remains trapped in the wine, making it... sparkling!
This is the opposite of the Champagne method, where the already fermented wine is bottled by adding yeast and sugar to initiate a second fermentation.
Other terms found on some labels are "méthode ancestral“, “méthode rural" or the Italian "col fondo“.
Many different names for a process originally used in Limoux in the early 16th century by wine-skilled monks.
Another big difference from sparkling wine and champagne, is that Pét Nat wines are Not disgorged and often also unfiltered and unsulphured bottled. They are then more or less cloudy and usually sealed with a crown cork.
Although the method is quite old (we'll get to that), the name that has contributed to the style's new success was invented by winemakers Thierry Puzelat and Christian Chaussard in the 1990s.
The two ran up and down the Loire Valley calling their sparkling wines, made by this ancient method, "Pét-Nat". From then on, this name became known worldwide.
Why are Pét-Nat so popular?
How did this old style become so popular, starting from Hipster wine bars up to Michelin restaurants?
Certainly, the fact that he has become one of the figureheads of the Natural wine movement has contributed a lot to this.
If one looks more closely, one possible answer lies in the pleasant, carefree feelingthat the wine conveys. The discreet bubbles, the low alcohol content and the rough, living feeling of this wine are tailor-made for the tastes of a new generation of wine lovers.
If you simply want a Evening with friends want to enjoy without spending hours on tasting notes, if you want to drink something fresh without being drunk by the second glass, but still feel that tingling sensation... then a Pét-Nat is just the thing for you.
On the other hand, we must not forget the great variety of wines that can fall under this style. White wines, Orange wines, rosé wines, red wines... if you want to get down to it, there are endless possibilities for a good pairing with food. No wonder, then, that this age-old method can be found on many restaurant wine lists.