Meet the New Pétillant Naturel by Tomac Winery

Total Croatia News

August 18, 2020 – Have you ever tried sparkling, actually lightly sparkling, fizzy, and lively wine that everybody is talking about nowadays: Pétillant Naturel, or Pét-Nat, for short? 

I have, and I immediately fell in love with it. However, the insiders claim Pét-Nat is actually far from being a novelty. This spritzy sparkler dates far back, all the way back to 16th century France, which makes it older than the traditional method typical for Champagne.

This wine is bottled before fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes and the method is called méthode ancestrele, “rurale,” “artisanale“ or “gaillacoise.” This is contrary to the classical, traditional méthode champenoise where the base wine is fully fermented, then undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle with the addition of yeast and sugar, (liqueur de tirage.)

Also unlike Champagne, Pét-Nat is not disgorged, and may or may not be filtered on completion of fermentation. It is the newest craze on the „cognoscenti“ market, and the kings (and queens) of the sparkling wine production in Croatia, Tomac family, have recognized it in time and have recently started producing their own Pét-Nat. 


Moreover, Pét-Nat, by Tomac with the label picturing their pet, Dachshund Hugo, is produced in a biodynamic way – strictly following the phases of the moon. Biodynamics was introduced to the world by 19th-century Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner who was actually born in Donji Kraljevec in Croatia.

Tomislav Tomac Jr and his wife Martina, as the new generation of the prominent Tomac winemaking family, are keen on producing biodynamically and are proud of their new wine, while Tomislav Tomac senior is now also getting „into the groove“.

Pét-Nat wines are usually low in alcohol, sometimes are sweet but can be dry as well.  Prior to tasting Tomac Pét-Nat, I also tried the one produced by the estimated Italian prosecco producer Bottega and it seemed to me that I am the one who would go to extra lengths to get such natural and tasty, refreshing wine, especially when they, like Tomac, cost a mere 100 kuna.

These rustic and raw but great wines can benefit from a couple of years in bottle, although they do not develop much with further aging. The bottles are often cloudy, due to remaining less presence and lack of filtration and are extremely reflective of the terroir. Limoux, Gaillac and Loire Valley are good sources of these crisp white wines, but now that we have Tomac’s Hugo, look no further. 

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