Pét-Nat, Charmat, Champenoise: plenty of bubbles for the Summer

Stoka Petnat
Štoka Vitovska Pét-Nat

Pétillant Naturel, or Pét-Nat for short, is a modern trend but its origin is not so new. Pét-Nats are made using the Méthode Ancestrale, the oldest way of making sparkling wines. It dates back to the 16th century and was invented by monks in the Limoux region in southwestern France. The wine is bottled before finishing its fermentation, allowing a second fermentation to naturally occur in the bottle using the residual sugar. The sediments are not removed and the wine is not filtered, producing a light and fizzy wine, often cloudy, due to the remaining lees and lack of filtration. Enjoy the fresh and lively Štoka Pét-Nats, White, Rosé, Red, made from the Slovenian grapes Vitovska and Teran.

Riddling in the Kikelet cellar
Riddling in the Kikelet cellar

Méthode Champenoise produces sparkling wine by creating a second fermentation in bottle. The second fermentation is accomplished by adding a mixture of sugar and yeast to still wine. The wine is then bottled, capped, and aged on its lees for several months, which develops texture and complexity. When the wine is ready, the neck of the bottle is frozen in order to remove the sediments. The cap is removed and the frozen sediments shoot out of the pressurized bottle. In Hungary, Kreinbacher combines the traditions of Champagne with Somlo’s distinctiveness. In Tokaj, Kikelet and Patricius use Hárslevelű and Furmint to make Brut wines with great depth. In Croatia, BIBICh makes two fine and fruitful Brut and Brut Rosé from local Dalmatian varieties.

torley posters
Törley, the leading sparkling wine producer in Hungary

Méthode Charmat was invented by Jean-Eugène Charmat in 1907. Like the Méthode Champenoise, the Charmat method uses two fermentations but here, the second fermentation happens in a large stainless steel tank rather than in the bottle. Therefore, the resulting wine has less contact with the lees and is more fruity. This is a good way to make sparkling wines from aromatic grape varieties as it preserves the fresh aromas of the grapes. From Törley, the leading sparkling wine producer in Hungary, the aromatic Gala Sec and sweeter Fortuna are great alternative to Prosecco and Moscato d’Asti.