Virginia winemakers continue to experiment with planting new grape varieties in their vineyards and with new styles of wine. One new and interesting wine to seek out is the pétillant-naturel—known as ‘pét-nat’—from Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison. Pét-nat (which means ‘naturally sparkling’) is made via the ‘méthode ancestrale’ where the wine is bottled and capped before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars. This may be the only pét-nat currently produced in Virginia. Made from 100% syrah, Early Mountain’s pét-nat is dry, light pink in color and cloudy in the glass with notes of tart cherry, strawberry and clove. It’s lightly fizzy with a zippy raspberry acidity.
By Frank Morgan