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Schist Happens

The first time we starting turning over rocks and looking for producers in Eisenberg was 2014. The area is certainly thematically ripe for Blue Danube given the confluence of Croatian, Austrian and Hungarian cultures and borders. A stone’s throw from the Hungarian border and a part of the Hungarian Empire for centuries earlier, but the Croatian connection is less obvious. After the Turks were pushed out in the mid 16th Century, Hungary repopulated the war torn area with Croatian...

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That’s what I do. I drink Peneče and I know things…

Whenever I hear Petillant-naturel, methode ancestrale, Pet-nat, or even Penece, I don’t immediately think Loire, I think Berkeley. Back in 2011 while working harvest for Donkey and Goat Winery, this was the first year they made Lily’s Pet-nat. Leading up to this, I remember experiments of filling up beer bottles by hand with rough estimates of what would happen post crown cap (residual sugar, yeast populations etc…). Often, while doing other winery work, bottles could be heard...

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

Petillant Naturel, or Pet-Nat for short, is a modern trend but its origin is not so new. Pet-Nats are made using the Methode 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,...

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Border(less) Regions are Great for Wine

Take a good dose of nationalism, a slightly larger dollop of history, and fuse it with taking the best from what’s around you and creating something new. This Slovenian and Istrian container is emblematic of changing flags and political systems forcing winemakers to make something that can’t be taken away from them. New co-fermented liters from Stajerska and Dolenjsko. Sanguine Teran, Refosk, Malvazija and Vitovska from both Istria and the Kras. The singular (and extremely limited)...

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