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iNwine: Natural Wines are in at Sperling Vineyards

winemaker Ann Sperling & vineyard manager, Rickard Branby
winemaker Ann Sperling & vineyard manager, Rickard Branby

Pet Nat – What’s that? As the sign reads out front of Kelowna’s Sperling Vineyards, here winemaker Ann Sperling and her family are real pioneers. First as pioneers in the history of agriculture in Kelowna and now in the world of biodynamic and organic viticulture and winemaking practice. The proof of the success is in the long lineup of awards and you can go taste for yourself. The tasting room is easily accessible just off of Benvoulin Road.

So Pet Nat. Short for pétillant naturel, pet-nat is basically the old, old, old school way of making sparkling wine. Unlike traditional-method sparkling wines that add sugar and yeast to dry, still wine to start a second fermentation and produce the desired bubbles, pét-nat is achieved by bottling wine that is only partially fermented. Then this first (and the only fermentation) continues in the bottle trapping the carbon dioxide (CO2). And after a relatively short period of time, the gas is absorbed into the wine and voila! sparkling wine.

So what sparked interest in this old, new winemaking style for the Sperlings? Ann explains, “These bubbly wines have been around for a very long time but are certainly having a come-back as all things bubbly seem to be trending right now. We are making our Speritz Pet Nat to make something tasty but naturally low in sugar and alcohol, and to boot, its free of other additives like sulphites as well.”

As to how it all began, she continues, “We first put the challenge of making sulphite free, wild fermented wine in front of ourselves as winemakers in 2014 by making our Amber Pinot Gris - a dry, full bodied, skin fermented wine. We felt that our vineyard was producing healthy balanced grapes with natural ability to support fermentation and aging without the use of additives such as fermentation aids, sulphites or fining agents. I feel this is the essential starting point to making natural wine; organic growing with biodynamic composts for 10 years has been our way to get to this point. Our wines are delicious, fresh, lively and show the place from which they come, including the yeasts present on our grapes and in our winery; and all with harmony and balance.”

And there you have it. Au natural is in and Pet Nat is where it’s at!

Speritz Pet Nat
Speritz Pet Nat

Sperling Speritz Pet Nat 2018

Lightly effervescent. Dry. Fermented in bottle. Vegan Friendly. Speritz Pet Nat also uses a heritage variety that my Grand-father planted in 1929 called Perle of Csaba. Its a Vinifera variety with muscato aromas so ripens early in the season with fresh floral aromas  and naturally low alcohol.
Naturally low alcohol. Wild ferment. No filtering or fining. Lively & expressive.
1405 Pioneer Road, Kelowna, BC

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