Technology of Pétillant Naturels (pét-nats ) production

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Pét-nat is an abbreviation for “pétillant naturel”—a French term that roughly translates to “naturally sparkling.” This type of wine is different than traditional Méthode Champenoise-produced wine. It usually contains an enhanced fruitiness, it doesn’t requires long term aging, and are currently trendy amongst wine professionals and sommeliers.
The main concept of production of Pét-nat is simple. You start fermentation and bottle before it is finished fermenting to retain some residual carbon dioxide and sugar in the final product. But, there are some problems that can occure during the production and winemakers have to pay attention to ensure final wine quality.

If you are thinking about Pét-nat production you should refer to these parameters in the initial raw material. It is recommended to use a low alcohol (≤12% alcohol v/v), low pH (<3.50) wine if the bottle conditioning technique would be implemented. Enough residual sugar should be present (8-15 g/L) to generate 3-4 bar of pressure, maximum, and bottled with a yeast addition. Bottles have to be able to retain pressure and should be sealed with a crown cap. Since the pét-nats can create a fair amount of pressure in the bottle, winemakers should proceed with caution.

Pét-nat production can be applied to any grape variety. Ripe berries should be used for production, because “overly ripe” flavor characteristics can indicate higher pH and lower total acidity values that can cause problems and complications during the winemaking process.

The pH should be lower than <3,50 and this pH will offer microbial protection to the wine through the production. Cellar hygiene, or proper sanitation techniques, will be essential for quality control purposes through production.

The primary fermentation is started in tank, arrested before primary fermentation is completed, bottled, and finished in the bottle.

In the production process of pét-nats, some attention should be given to clarification of the juice, pre-fermentation. It is recommended that juice is clarified to 30 – 80 NTUs with use of centrifugation, flotation or assistance with settling enzymes and/or fining agents. In the juice-settling phase, a sulfur addition may help clarify the juice and minimize spoilage yeast and bacteria that could harm the quality of the wine.

For wine production, before the primary fermentation that will be started in a tank, winemakers should choose yeast selections that will be used for fermentation.
If it is needed, oxygen additions can be made to activate the ferementation. The parameter that is essential in pét-nats production and should be checked and regulated is temperature.

Fermentation should proceed at 14-16°C. When the amount of alcohol will be at about +/- 3% v/v from the target alcohol, wine have to be chilled down to 8°C to hinder the fermentation. After cooling, wine needs to be racked to remove most of the lees. It can be removed by centrifugation or filtration. Furhermore, after this procees, wine has to be restart with a fresh culture and hydration nutrient.

After all this, the wine will be prepared to complete primary fermentation. To complete the méthode ancestrale technique, the base wine is bottled to complete fermentation. Méthode ancestrale does not involve a sugar addition at the second inoculation. However, a sugar addition to manipulate the final desired concentration of pressure in the bottle is an option for winemakers at the second inoculation of yeast.

Then, the base wine is re-inoculated in the bottle and the fermentation will proceed in the bottles. The temperature needs to be control, optimally set at 13-15°C. For retention of residual sugar, chill the room to 0-2°C to arrest fermentation in the bottle.

Flow Diagram Representing General Production
of Pétillant Naturel Sparkling Wines (Méthode Ancestrale)
For production of of Pétillant Naturel Sparkling Wines you will need the professional equipment that will lift your wine to the heights.
To know when will be the time to harvest the grapes use Digital Refractometer for Measurement of Sugar in Wine HI96813. With this refractometer you can measure the value of potential alcohol measurement (% V/V) of wine, juice and must.


Digital Refractometer
for Measurement of Sugar in Wine
The HI96813 is a rugged, portable digital refractometer designed for sugar (% Brix) measurement and potential alcohol measurement (% V/V) of wine, juice and must. The HI96813 features a high accuracy of ±0.2% Brix and 0.2% V/V potential alcohol. All readings are automatically compensated for temperature variations according to the ICUMSA Methods Book standard and displayed within a 1.5 second response time. The sealed flint glass prism and stainless steel well are easy to clean. Just wipe with a soft cloth in preparation for the next sample.
  • Sample size as small as 2 metric drops (100 μl)
  • Sealed stainless steel well with high-grade optical prism made of flint glass
  • Fast 1.5 second response time for temperature compensated readings
To measure pH value of your juice or wine, Hanna Instruments have several solutions!


Professional pH meter
for wine

HI98169 is a robust, waterproof, portable pH meter for wine that measures the pH and temperature of must in winemaking. This meter comes with a specialized pH probe that has open connection properties with clogging prevention system (CPS).

HI98169 is supplied with FC10483 pH electrode, pH 3.00 buffer solution sachets (2), pH 7.01 buffer solution sachets (2), HI700635 Cleaning solution for wine deposits sachet, HI700636 cleaning solution for wine stains sachet, 100 mL plastic beaker (2), HI920015 micro USB cable, 1.5V AA batteries (4), instruction manual, guidebook for winemakers, and quality certificate in a HI720169 hard carrying case with custom insert.


Portable pH Meter for Wine Analysis
Designed to bring simplicity to pH testing during the wine making process, the HI99111 Wine pH Meter is engineered to solve the challenge of measuring the samples with a high solids content. The specialized HI10483 probe features a glass body, spherical tip, and Hanna’s Clogging Prevention System (CPS) that resists clogging 20x longer than a standard ceramic frit, making it ideal for measuring the pH during the wine making process.
  • ±0.02 pH accuracy
  • Comes with all the necessary solutions and batteries- everything you need to get started measuring right away.
  • Specialized for the pH measurement of juice, must, and wine during the wine making process.
For measuring turbidity of juice and wine use


Turbidity Meter
and Bentonite Monitoring
The HI83749 Portable Turbidity and Bentonite Check Meter ensures protein stability before bottling for great quality wine. The HI83749 measures turbidity of samples from 0.00 to 1200 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) and is USEPA compliant.
  • Log and transfer up to 200 measurements.
  • GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) feature for traceability of the calibration conditions.
  • Great for small & medium wineries and advanced hobbyists.
Since enough residual sugar should be present in your wine,
you should measure it with


for Reducing
Sugars in Wine
The HI83746 Photometer for Reducing Sugars in Wine combines accuracy and ease of use in an ergonomic, portable design. A user can accurately determine the concentration of reducing sugars in wine within a 0.00 to 50.0 g/L (ppt) range using the HI83746-20 ready-made reagents.
  • Built-in Timer
  • Automatic Shut Off
  • Ready-made Reagents
Temperature is one of the most important parameter to check.
This is simple solution for that from Hanna Instruments.


Digital Thermometer
Checktemp Dip
The Checktemp Dip Digital Thermometer – HI98539 is a high-accuracy thermometer connected to a weighted, stainless steel probe by a 3 m (9.9’) flexible, silicone cable. The probe incorporates an NTC thermistor sensor, providing an extremely accurate temperature measurement that can satisfy your HACCP requirements.
Tajana Mokrović
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