Monday, May 28, 2018

ombiasy WineTours Newsletter May 2018 - NEWS: The Latest Hipe - Pét-Nat: Le Dernier Crie - FALL: WineTours to Bordeaux and Burgundy & Champagne

Picture: Annette Schiller

This is the text of the ombiasy WineTours newsletter that Annette distributed on May 25, 2018. If you want to be on her distribution list, send a mail to

Pét-Nat: Le Dernier Crie - The Latest Hipe

Dear wine and food lover,

It's getting warmer in the northern hemisphere as summer is slowly but surely approaching. What is better after a hard day's work, or to ring in a leisurely weekend than sipping some cool fizzy stuff.

A new trendy kid on the blog is Pét-Nat, but what is Pét-Nat? Actually it is not at all a new kid – it is the oldest sparkling wine produced on planet Earth going back to the 16th century. Making Champagne according to the méthode champenoise (adding sugar to initiate a second fermentation of a fully fermented base wine) was discovered much later in 1662 by English scientist and physician Christopher Merret.

Pét-Nat stands for “Pétillant Naturel”, and is produced in the “méthode ancestral”. Still wine is basically fermented grape juice where the natural sugars in the grapes convert to alcohol, and the wine is bottled after fermentation has come to an end. “Méthode ancestral” means that the wine is bottled before the fermentation process is completed, thus keeping some carbon dioxide in the bottle, which makes the wine fizzy.

As the name Pét-Nat suggests in general producers work their vineyards according to organic or even biodynamic methods, and work mostly with spontaneous fermentation. Often, Pét-Nats are Orange Sparkling Wines, i.e. they are fermented on the mash (with the skin). There is no disgorgement or removal of the spent yeasts, and no or minimal filtration - hence Pét-Nats tend to show a somewhat cloudy appearance.

To produce a Pét-Nat requires a lot of experience and authentic craftsmanship of the wine maker. The process can be hard to control and the result is often unpredictable.

Due to the production method Pét-Nats have less pressure than other sparklers, and often show a less pronounced perlage (semi-sparkling). Their pressure in the bottle is usually 2.5-3 bar, while Champagne comes in at 5-6 bar. The alcohol content is also lower than in other sparkling wines. The packaging differs in one important detail: A Champagne is closed with the characteristic, large cork and a cage. Pét-nats, are usually closed with a cap – similar to a beer bottle cap or cider bottle cap.

So, what's the hipe about the Pét-Nats and what do they taste like?

Pét-Nats are light, fizzy bubblies low in alcohol, which makes them popular. They are lively, rustic sparklers that reflect the terroir. Pét-Nats can taste dry or can have some residual sweetness. An Orange Pét-Nat comes with a particular taste and might need a little getting used to. I suspect the Pét-Nat will never be mainstream, but with the low alcohol and less fizz it will find its followers.

Get some Pét-Nats, try and taste. Pét-Nats are perfect to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend

CHEERS Annette

FALL Wine Tours 2018

The long Memoriall Day weekend is just one day away. Time to start thinking: What are we going to do in the fall? I have a suggestion: Do some fabulous wine tours to Bordeaux and Burgundy & Champagne.

The fall tours usually coincide with some aspects of the harvest season. It is always exciting to travel to wine regions during the harvest season to feel the tension: will this be a good vintage? Sometimes we only catch the preparation stage, sometimes we just see the last truck loaded with grapes pulling into the winery, sometimes -like last year- we were lucky to witness harvest season in full swing.


Bordeaux, September 04 - 13, 2018

Join me for this years wine tour to BORDEAUX.
This tour starts and ends in Bordeaux City.

Taste first-class wines in Saint-Emilion, Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Pessac-Léognan, Pomerol, Sauterne, Graves. Enjoy exquisite gourmet wine pairing lunches and dinners at world-famous Châteaux. Learn about the mechanism of the “Place de Bordeaux” from an expert at a négociant house. Visit a cooper to closely witness the art of making a barrique -so important for the quality of a wine- from A to Z. Travel to the Bassin d’Arcachon to explore how an oyster is raised. Discover the vibrant and cool city of Bordeaux.

We plan to visit (in order of the scheduled itinerary): Château La Mission Haut-Brion; Château Beauséjour; Château Clos Fourtet; Château La Conseillante; Château Le Bon Pasteur; Château Villemaurine; Château Yquem; Château Climens; Vignobles Gonet-Médeville; Château Smith Haut-Lafitte; Château Lascombes; Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron; Château Lynch-Bages; Château Lafon-Rochet; Château Phélan Ségur; Château Le Reysse; Château Léoville-Barton; Château Kirwan; Château Haut-Bailly.

Once you arrive in Bordeaux you are taken care of until the tour ends. We always travel in a small goup with max 12 people (including myself, the guide) in order to be able to get a very personal behind the scene experience.

Experience a Bordeaux wine class on the ground and have lots of fun too!

For details click here.

Burgundy & Champagne, September 20 - 30, 2018

Join me for this years wine tour to BURGUNDY and CHAMPAGNE.
The tour starts in Lyon and ends in Paris.

Travel from Lyon to Paris. Discover the sophisticated city of Lyon beautifully situated at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers. Travel north and visit and taste at top Domaines in the Beaujolais, the Mâconnais, the Côte Chalonnaise, the Côte de Beaune whith the Grand Cru Montrachet vineyards where the most expensive white wines of the world grow, the Côte de Nuits with it's famous red Grand Cru appellations such as La Tâche, Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot, Romannée Conti, and Chablis with its crispy Chardonnay. Cross into the Champagne region to learn how the bubbles get into the bottle and savor fantastic Champagnes. Enjoy Michelin-star restaurants as well as typicl local bistros and taverns. Get a good idea about the great history of the region through visits of important historic places. Have the farewell meal in a Paris restaurant which has become a landmark throughout time.

Once you arrive in Lyon you are taken care of until we part in Paris. The group will be a small one with max 12 people (including me, your guide) to allow us to visit small Burgundy domaines and to get a very personal behind the scene expierence.

Get the inside track of the Burgundy and Champagne regions and have lots of fun too!

For details click here.

All Upcoming Wine Tours 2018 At A Glance


Germany East - Wine, Culture, History Tour - from Berlin to Frankfurt: June 11 – 20, 2018
There is 1 - just ONE! slot available for the very late decision maker.


Bordeaux: September 04 – 13, 2018
Burgundy & Champagne: September 20 – 30, 2018
Rhône: October 15 – 24, 2018 (sold out)

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