Made from a byproduct of winemaking that typically goes straight into the compost pile, piquettes are a simple and delicious wine-like beverage that give grapes a second life.
A piquette is a wine-like beverage made from pomace (skins, pulp, seeds, and stems) of recently pressed grapes. The pressed grapes are rehydrated with water, allowed to macerate for a time, then pressed again. This liquid is fermented and bottled quickly. The result is a beverage with an alcohol content of 4-9% abv as compared to our pét-nats which are typically between 10-12% abv.
Historically, piquettes intended to be consumed by field workers and a more affordable alternative to wine. Piquettes can be wildly diverse, with no consistent varietal, blend, or firm tradition associated with the style. It is great territory for experimentation! I have often described piquettes to people who have not tried them as being like a hybrid between sour beer and a wine spritzer. Or, what hard seltzer would be like if it were made with the thoughtfulness of craft beer and wine.
Our first piquette, released in 2019, was made from the pressings of Pinot Noir. With 2 days on the pomace this piquette has a bright pink color and cranberry-pomegranate flavor profile. Our 2020 piquette was made from pressings of our Gewurztraminer pet-nat, which had a little carbonic maceration in the fermentation process. The acid level is wonderfully high and the aromatics are off the charts with floral notes and citrus zest.
These wine-like beverages are drinkable beyond belief, and because of their low cost of production and single-serve size, they are a no-brainer for the summer. The perfect refreshing drink to enjoy on the patio while watching the days grows warmer.