Montlouis-sur-Loire defines appellation ‘pétnat’

Tuesday February 25 2020 by Vitisphere

  Sporting the private brand ‘Originel’, the range of sparkling wines is underpinned by new specifications for the Loire appellation. Sporting the private brand ‘Originel’, the range of sparkling wines is underpinned by new specifications for the Loire appellation.

Named ‘Originel’, the dry sparkling wine in the Montlouis-sur-Loire appellation area draws on a production method that is inspired by the spontaneous approach of natural sparkling wines (or ‘pétnats’) but is also defined by a desired product profile that is more akin to natural still wines than sparkling. “We are determined to produce top-end [Chenin] wine using this technique”, said Damien Delecheneau, chairman of the Montlouis-sur-Loire producers’ organisation.

The Loire winegrower has been producing natural semi-sparkling wines since 2005 and since 2007 has been working towards formalising the trend, recently incorporated into AOC production specifications after three years of discussions with the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO). “Our ethos is that quality comes from the terroir, the vintage and the winegrower. I love natural wines, but when they are well made. We want to limit approximations. The fermentation aspect is a lot of fun but it lacks identity”, claimed Delecheneau.

Over the past fifteen years or so, pétnats have been increasingly emerging from Touraine wineries, and they could move towards a more assertive identity. Currently labelled as Vins de France, the sparkling wines will be eligible for AOC status starting in 2020. “We are making the method official, we don't want to be ashamed of it any more”, said Delecheneau, who stressed that the choice of wines available will be easier for consumers to understand.

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