So, what makes Pét-Nats so great?!
They're Champagne’s, cooler, older brother, and here's 4 reasons why:
You may have heard the name, but what is a Pét-Nat?! Pét-Nat is an abbreviation of the French word– ‘Pétillant Naturel’– which translates to ‘Naturally Sparkling’ – put simply, Pét-Nats are natural sparkling wines!
Most sparkling wines,like Champagne & prosecco, are made in the traditional method. This means the wine goes through two fermentations – 1st in the tank & 2nd in the bottle, with the addition of yeast & sugar. With Pét-Nats, there is only one fermentation - which startsin the tank & then is bottled halfway through, with no additives – this is known as the ancestral method.
The Ancestral Method
The ancestral method is so named as it is the oldest form of sparkling winemaking - developed in France in the 16th century - but its discovery was most probably a happy accident! Wine bottled in the winter, would still contain dormant yeast, that would awake in the spring & continue fermentation, thus creating the bubbles we know & love today.
The ancestral method was all but abandoned for the traditional method, due to its risky & difficult to control nature – exploding bottles could destroy a whole harvest in seconds!
But thanks to our friend science - fermentation can now be measured & controlled - the ancestral method has made a resurgence in the past 10 years, and now Pét-Nats are the cool new (old) sparkling wines on the block!
If you can’t wait , put the bottle in a sunny window to speed up fermentation, and voila – a drier Pét-Nat!