Pét-Nat (Pétillant Naturel) is produced in the ‘methode ancestral’, otherwise known as “rurale,” “artisanale,” or “gaillacoise.” Long story short, the wine is bottled prior to fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes.
Pét-Nats have a light and fizzy mouthfeel and are generally low in alcohol. They are usually slightly sweet, though dry examples do exist. The wines can benefit from a couple of years in bottle, though do not develop with further aging. The bottles are often cloudy, due to remaining lees presence and lack of filtration. Pét-Nat production is extremely variable and can be hard to control and therefore requires a level of expertise on the winemaker’s part. The end result is a raw, rustic, and lively wine, extremely reflective of the terroir from which it came.