“There are so many different styles of pe虂t-nat,” says Chris Brockway, the winemaker for Broc Cellars
, another Berkeley winery. Brockway sources fruit from all around California, homing in on offbeat varieties. He made his first pe虂t-nat with picpoul, an obscure blending varietal that hails from southern France, following that with a chenin blanc and a carignan rose虂 pe虂t-nat made with grapes from old vines in the Alexander Valley. “The lightness and freshness of the style is what people enjoy the most,” he says.
Like other pe虂tillants, his are bottled under a crown cap – similar to craft beer or cider – rather than a cork. But that doesn’t make them any less festive. “Pe虂t-nat starts a party, breaks the ice, and then surprises people so much that it disappears quickly,” says Brockway. “For the holidays it works because it’s not overly complicated or heavy. It’s a wine to lift everyone’s spirits,” he says. “What could be better on the table than that?”
Grosgrain Vineyards 2018 Lemberger, Kiona Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington, $26
Made from lemberger, once a potential signature grape for Washington, this wine features aromas of ripe berries and rhubarb.
Donkey & Goat 2018 Chardonnay Lily’s Cuve虂e, Anderson Valley, California, $35
Wisps of spice and citrus add nuance to the orchard-fruit notes in this whole-cluster pressed wine.
Broc Cellars 2018 Chenin Blanc, Shell Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, $33
Scents of citrus and white flowers run through this wine
, rounded with flavors of baked pear and lemon curd.
Gamine 2018 Rose虂 of Grenache, Mae’s Vineyard, Applegate Valley, Oregon, $28
The fruit for this limited rose虂, with vibrant white-blossom aromas and peach flavors, is harvested early to preserve acidity.
Johan Vineyards 2018 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $23
This captivating coral-hued wine has notes of wild strawberries and a hint of earthiness.