What is Pet Nat actually?
Whether it's fashionable or not, there's no getting around it - Pet Nat is now a term that everyone is talking about and it's hard to imagine the natural wine movement without it - but what exactly is Pet Nat? We are talking about Petillant Naturel, which means "naturally sparkling" in French, an artisan sparkling wine made according to the old method - also called the Ancestral Method, which is how sparkling wines were made before monks in Champagne perfected the second fermentation in the bottle.
Compared to traditional sparkling wine production, the must ferments directly in the bottle, creating the natural and refreshing carbonic acid. Pet Nat is therefore a spontaneously fermented sparkling wine.
Most winemakers want to produce a natural sparkling wine and therefore work mainly organically or biodynamically, mostly without additives such as sulphur and sugar - there are no fixed guidelines. However, it is possible to add a little sugar before corking - the more sugar, the more pressure and more perlage in the wine.
The Pet Nat method was rediscovered in the Loire wine region in the 1990s, when Christian Chaussard's wine fermented in the bottle and he thought that his entire production had become unsaleable. After the slightly effervescent Pet Nat was obviously liked, necessity became a virtue.