Pét-nat is an abbreviation for “pétillant naturel”—a French term that roughly translates to “naturally sparkling.” Also, the terms Natural sparkling wine, Lightly sparkling wine, Vin Pétillant, and Frizzante style are used to describe the style of wine.
The Pét-nat method, also known as the Ancestral method, is an ancient winemaking technique that predates the Champagne method. The method originated in Limoux in Southwestern France in the 16th Century. Unlike Champagne, Pét-nat is bottled before fermentation, allowing the carbon dioxide produced to naturally carbonate the wine. This results in a wine that is typically fruitier and less yeasty than Champagne.
Pét-nats are often characterized by their inconsistency in flavour, owing to the fact that they typically undergo zero dosage. This means that no sugar is added to the wine after the initial fermentation, which can result in a wine that is drier and less predictable in terms of flavour. However, this lack of consistency is also part of the appeal of Pét-nats, as it highlights the natural and unadulterated character of the wine.
Pét-nats are considered natural wines, as they are made using minimal intervention and without the use of additives or chemicals. This approach to winemaking emphasizes the unique character of the grape varietal and the terroir, resulting in a wine that is authentic and expressive of its origin.
While Pét-nats are traditionally unfiltered, some producers have started to experiment with filtered styles, which can have a longer shelf life and a more consistent flavour profile.
Pét-nat wines are a unique and refreshing alternative to traditional sparkling wines, with a distinct flavour profile and natural character that sets them apart. While they are traditionally unfiltered, some producers have started to experiment with filtered styles, which can have a longer shelf life and a more consistent flavour profile.
Hungarian Pét-nat movement
Hungarian varietals, such as Kékfrankos, Olaszrizling, Budai Zöld, and Keknyelu, have become increasingly popular in the Pét-nat world, bringing their own unique flavour profiles to the wine. Pinot Noir and Syrah are also commonly used in Pét-nat production, with the former typically producing a lighter-bodied and fruit-forward wine, and the latter producing a more robust and savoury wine. The Pét-nat method allows these grape varietals to fully express their unique flavours, resulting in wines that are complex, yet approachable.
Overall, Pét-nat wines offer a range of exciting and flavourful options, with Hungarian varietals adding to the diversity and experimentation in this type of wine. Whether unfiltered or filtered, Pét-nat wines are a testament to the beauty and simplicity of natural winemaking and are a joy to explore and savour.
Try our unique range of Hungarian Pét-nats from Tiwari House which are natural, sugar-free and vegan! These wines are perfect for a casual gathering, outdoor drinking or a simple lunch.