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Heidi Schröck 2020 'Pinot Pét-Nat', Neusiedlersee-Huggeland, Burgenland, Austria

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  • Winemaker: Heidi Schröck
  • Farming: Practicing Organic
  • Varieties: 70% Pinot Blanc, 30% Pinot Gris
  • Terroir:  Loam and limestone vineyards in Rust, overlooking Lake Neusiedl
  • Vinification: Skin fermented (native yeasts) for 3 days in stainless steel before racking into a large used oak cask. No SO2 during harvest or fermentation. Bottled in April 2020 with 2ATM pressue. 15ppm SO2 total.

From our April 2021 Explorer Pack bottle club notes:

Heidi Schröck  | ‘Nostalgie Naturelle’ Pinot Pét-Nat  Vol. 2  | Neusiedlersee-Huggeland, Austria2019

    There’s always something cool coming from Heidi Schröck, who is a cult favorite in both the US and Scandinavia. Heidi began her now-storied career as a winemaker in 1983 in the town of Rust in upper Burgenland, Austria, just five miles from the Hungarian border. This is a region dominated by the continental climate of the Pannonian Plain, a lowland area that millions of years ago was beneath a Sea. Here, on the western bank of the shallow Neusiedler See, where late-summer humidity brings conditions perfect for the noble rot of botrytis to infect the vineyards, Heidi became a star for reinvigorating life into Austria’s historic dessert wine styles which had long been forgotten and overshadowed by neighboring Hungary’s Tokaji. She has always been a pioneer in her field, even if discovering new ground meant remembering where she came from.. 

    Now, Pét-Nat might be all the rage these days, but just like everything else she’s done since 1983, Heidi’s actually revisiting a very old-school technique that the kids in California think they’ve just discovered. The Pinot Pét Nat Vol. 2  is a recreation of a style her family used to make in the 1920s. Pét-nat is short for Pétillant Naturel, or naturally sparkling. Wines in this style come about when a wine is bottled before it has fermented completely dry, or with some residual sugar and active yeast still in the bottle. The wine continues fermenting, and as CO2 is a natural byproduct of alcoholic fermentation but, because the bottle is capped, has no escape, the remaining CO2 dissolves itself into the wine, creating a light effervessence. This wine seems like it might just be Heidi at her most free— she can play around and make a Pét-Nat which is very on-trend, but it is still grounded in a history, making it far better and more consistent than most you’ll find on the market.

    Using Pinot Blanc (aka Weissburgunder), Heidi lets the juice macerate with its skins for about four days, intensifying the heady floral quality aromatics and texture of the must. Without adding any sulfur, she bottles it and let’s it finish dry in the bottle. The natural spritz is makes this such an  easy drinking wine perfect for Golden Gate Park afternoons. Drink it young, drink it cold, and share her with friends!

—Cara Patricia

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