What is Pét Nat?
Pét Nat is short for pétillant naturel which translates as naturally sparkling.
It is produced by an unusual technique called Méthode Ancestrale. This is the historical way of producing sparkling wine. The fermentation would begin after the harvest when the weather was still warm. In the cold winter months, the fermentation would have stopped as yeasts don’t work well in cold climates. The wine would then be bottled and in Spring the fermentation would restart producing CO2 creating the signature fizz.
Modern producers follow the same process bottling the wine mid way through the ferment. The resulting wine isn’t disgorged so the sediment of dead yeasts remains in the bottle. This means that the wine is often cloudy and there are lots of diversity between bottles.
Pét Nat has very few rules and regulations. The only set of rules is the production method. It can be produced from any grape variety all over the world. The Loire in particular is noted for starting the latest fashionable trend. The wines range from dry to sweet depending on the fermentation and whether it stops early in the bottle.
Pét Nat is easy to distinguish as it is often bottled under a crown cap rather than cork. They are typically meant to be consumed young to focus on the fruity aromas.