At the recent Wine Media Conference (#WMC21) in Eugene, Oregon, we had the privilege of tasting some sparkling wines from Oregon. Since most people think Pinot Noir when thinking about wine from Oregon, many of us didn’t realize Oregon produced sparkling wines. Some notable wines from our discovery session and tasting include the Brut from Willamette Valley Vineyards and the Pet Nat series of wines from Troon.
2017 Brut, Methode Champenoise
Really lovely sparkling wine, made in the traditional method. Very drinkable now!
Pet-Nat (Method Ancestrale)
After tasting some traditional sparkling wines. We were introduced to Pet-Nat…what is that? Pet-Nat, or Petillant Natural, is the opposite of methode champenoise in terms of rules. While methode champenoise has very strict rules, Pet-Nat has no rules! Originally a way to utilize all of the grapes, by using the leftovers after the grapes were pressed, this was a way make wine for the farm and vineyard workers. This style is fun, whimsical and perfect after a hard day in the fields or for a summer picnic. Every vintage (if you can call it that) is different depending on what is available and doesn’t follow a strict recipe. When we asked Troon winemaker Craig what the ABV was for a particular wine, he laughed, and said I don’t know!
Fermentation for Pet-Nat is natural, first in stainless steel tanks, then in bottles which are crown capped (think soda bottles). The result is a fun, fizzy, summer wine, with deep colors. Drink these wines right away as they are not made for aging.
TROON vineyard is a biodynamic certified regenerative vineyard in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. All wines are biodynamic and spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts, and no additives are used.
2020 Pet tanNat
Color: light straw
Made exclusively with Estate Tannat, whole cluster pressed, made in the ultra brut dry style. Bottle fermented. Reminiscent of a Brut Nature Blanc de Noir with a rustic twist!
Frugal farmer fizz. This wine uses the skins from the estate white and rose, then adds water to allow it the macerate overnight. The mash is pressed the next day into stainless steel with natural yeast and later bottled with a crown cap. Beautiful pink color, perfect for a summer picnic.
Made with red fruit which gives it a vibrant color. Sangiovese and Montepulciano are whole cluster pressed and fermented together. These grapes were chosen for the acid and freshness, and we were informed this will be the last vintage form these varietals as this block will be replanted with something new. This wine was inspired by the sparkling red wines from central Italy and pairs well with pizza.