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Pet Nat Wine 101

What is Petillant Naturel?

Wine is fun. People like fun. Ipso facto, we're all constantly looking for accessible, vibrant, exciting styles of wine that can maximise our potential for joy. One of those that has recently exploded into the everyday drinker's peripheral vision is Pét Nat. Pét Nat is the cute abbreviation of the French words Pétillant Naturel, translating to 'naturally sparkling'. Instead of laborious, time-consuming processes that often require the use of additives such as sugar or additional carbonation, this age-old process is simple. The juice from the crushed juice is settled, separated from the skins and seeds, then put in bottle as it is still fermenting. This way, the carbon dioxide that is released as the yeast consumes the sugar, carbonates the wine inside...naturally! Ever left orange juice in your fridge too long and it's gone bubbly? You've just made your first Pét Nat; kind of. 

But seriously. Pét Nats aren't just fizzy accidents. We love them because they can be made using any varietal – red, pink, white – and they're the fruitiest, most aromatic and often bright expressions of the grape in question. Love Chardonnay? It tastes like white peaches and sherbet when it's fizzy. How about Shiraz? It's cherries and a really good kiss when it's sparkling. Sometimes it has a little residual sugar left over, so those who favour sweeter wines rejoice. Those who like their wines bone dry, that's fine too. On top of all this, Pét Nats usually don't require any additives to preserve their quality; a natural wine lover's dream! With great farming practice and better quality fruit without pesticides or bruising from machinery, you can see fruit purity really clearly in this style of sparkling wine. 

Though we have come to see them most commonly crafted in a drink-easy, accessible way, Pét Nat's spiritual home is in Limoux, where the wines are known as Cremant de Limoux and the process is appropriately named méthode ancestrale. They were first made in Abbeys by monks in the 1600s, and since then the style has been mastered throughout South-Western France. They are sensual, textural and opulent sparkling wines that hold a candle to Champagne in complexity and quality. Nowadays, all parts of the world are getting more and more familiar with the pétillant naturel process and the potentials of these wines, so it's safe to say that there's a cuvée out there for any kind of wine drinker. 

If you're looking to dip your toe into the world of Pétillant Naturel, WINONA is the perfect place to start. Start locally with the Australian expression of the method in regions like the Adelaide Hills or Great Southern, and then branch into the weird, wonderful, wild parts of it all across the globe. With 10% off any 6 bottles, mix and match with some natural Red Wine, White Wine, Rose or Orange Wine. Alternatively you can try one of our juicy Wine Packs, or join our Wine Club – which often features Pét Nats in all their sparkly glory.