7 Strangers – Pét Nat

1 year and 6 months ago I decided to toss my hat into the sparkling wine arena. Who doesn’t love bubbly after all?

Like everything I do in life, taking a conventional route with my first sparkling wine didn’t really interest me. Besides – I had never made a proper sparkling wine, so if it came out horrendous I needed a long list of excuses why ? 

And thus, the Méthode Ancestral Nouvelle came to be. 

Now that’s a lot of wine jargon so let’s break this down. Nouvelle is a South African white wine cultivar. It has a lot of characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc if I had to contrast it to a more commonly known grape. 

And interestingly enough, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the cultivars winemakers are allowed to make bubbly with in Champagne. So surely Nouvelle had some potential is where my thinking was. 

Méthode Ancestral is a very old style of making bottle fermented sparkling wine. Rather than fermenting a wine dry, bottling, and adding sugar/yeast like you do for a typical MCC – you simply bottle the wine before it is completely dry while the first ferment is taking place. 

Easy enough eh? 

The tricky part which I overlooked a bit is measuring the exact sugar content in the wine and bottling at the exact right moment. 

Too little sugar in the wine and you’ll have a flat, failed bubbly. Too much, and you’ll have a ton of small bombs on your hands. 

Fast forward a few months from here and 200L of bubbly is bottled by hand, not exploding, and beautifully carbonated. 

To an extent it was a huge success. But upon opening a few and tasting with friends, I just wasn’t very confident about the wine. 

It was wild. 

You just couldn’t put your finger on the wine. Crazy notes of citrus, ginger, green grass, herbaceousness. Every time you opened a bottle it was something different. 

With 2020 being my first vintage, I decided my first attempt at bubbly was a bit too crazy to release. I packed it away in the back of the winery and actually forgot about it until the start of this year. 

I was moving barrels around in the winery when I stumbled across all the dusty bottles sitting in a dark corner way in the back. Curious how the wine had progressed – I grabbed a bottle to take home with me that night to try. 

I had a private tasting booked that evening on the beach by where I stay with 2 groups. Upon finishing up, someone noticed the dusty bottle under crown cap in my backpack and asked about it. 

My initial response was “sorry, I don’t actually sell that one. It’s a bit weird.”

To which they replied “well now you have to open it for us.”

So I did. I popped it at the table, poured a bit in everyone’s glass, and waited for the response. 

And to my surprise, everyone was raving about this wine.

I immediately poured some in my own glass and held the glass up to my nose. Before I tasted it I grabbed the bottle to double check this was in fact my wine. 

I took a sip. Grabbed the bottle again to double check it was my wine. 

My wild, crazy experiment had matured into a delicious wine. Orange zest and pear on the nose, met with more stone fruit, citrus, and a subtle almond coating on the palate – the magic of a year on the lees was showing beautifully. 

And thus, 7 Strangers (& a dog) Pét Nat came to be. 

Right now I only have a few cases of this wine left. It’s crazy how quick word got out – but I’ve decided to not dis-gorge and make the last little bit of this wine available to you all.

Under crown cap, no label, on the lees – I’m sharing this wine in the exact way it was made: wild. 

And like all my wines, I needed to pair this one with a worthy organization. So in honor of the beautiful rescued Border Collie that 7 Strangers and a Dog was named after – R300 per case goes to the Border Collie Rescue Center of Cape Town. 

Available while supplies last. Order yours today.