A Pet Nat is not a pet flying insect. But it is nearly as unusual. A Pet Nat (Pétillant Naturel) wine is an ancient form of sparkling wine which harnesses the natural gases produced during fermentation to produce a lightly spritzy preservative free wine. They are renowned for their experimental colours, use of wild yeasts, fermentation in traditional clay amphora vessels and crown seals. These wines have become popular with artisan wine makers within the last few years as they are true to ancient methods and truly distinct.
Pet Nats are produced using the Ancestral Method. An inexpensive but risky and difficult-to-control method of producing sparkling wine, in which the primary fermentation is stopped before completing, and a secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. Ending when the yeast cells deplete the supply of residual sugar. As the yeast eats the sugar in the grape juice that creates the alcohol in wine, carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product. When you bottle that grape juice and trap the carbon dioxide gas, that’s what makes Pet Nats fizzy. There is no dosage, or sugar addition, to kick-start the secondary fermentation, no sulphur dioxide (preservative) is added, and the wine is not disgorged to remove any sediment or lees remaining afterward (Wine Spectator 2019). What you end up with is an untouched, funky, unfiltered, cloudy wine but that’s part of the appeal of a Pet Nat – closer to the way nature intended it.
Most Pet Nat wines are not certified organic. At The Organic Wine Cellar we only sell certified organic wine. All of our sparkling and preservative free wines are also certified organic. We can source Pet Nats for you. Our pick is the Ngeringa Uncultured Pétillant Naturel which is certified organic/biodynamic. The new 2019 release is available now. You can order it by calling us on 1300 659 330.
Wine Spectator 2019, ‘Glossary’ <https://www.winespectator.com/glossary/index/word/Ancestral>, viewed 1 October 2019.