About Winemaker Samantha Sheehan
Napa Winemaker Samantha Sheehan founded POE in 2009 after being inspired by the wines she tasted in Burgundy and Champagne. Her goal is not to replicate Burgundy, but rather to create vineyard-specific, age-worthy wines revealing the beautiful terroir of California. She uses minimal intervention, minimal sulfur, and never any additives.
At POE, Samantha produces traditional Champagne method sparkling wines, rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and a nouveau from Pinot Noir. Each wine is made in very limited quantities and sold directly from the winery to top restaurants around the country.
A Guide To Natural Wine Fairs
If you’re wanting to meet producers, try big ranges of wines, and travel to some of these locations, there are natural wine events hosted across the US and abroad.
RAW Wine – New York, Los Angeles, Miami
The most famous natural wine fairs is RAW WINE. They have several across the world each year, so if you’re in the US you’d likely want to check our their New York or LA events! We love to attend the one in NYC and met one of our first producers, Domaine Mamaruta there!
Feast Portland – Portland, ME
While not touted as a natural wine fair, Feast Portland typically hosts several types of natural wine events each year and has the added bonus of lots of food around to pair it with! Who doesn’t want another excuse to go to Portland?!
The Real Wine Fair – London, UK
The Real Wine Fair takes place in London each year. We went in 2019 and found some amazing producers to add to our portfolio! They have one day that is trade only, so ensure you’re getting your ticket to the right day!
Nat Diego – San Diego, CA
Nat Diego is the largest location specific natural wine fair in the US! Taking place in, you guessed it, San Diego, it hosts many US natural winemakers as well as importers and distributors of natural wines in California.
Wild Wine Fair – Edinburgh, Scotland
Taking place in Scotland, next year will be the third installment of Wild Wine Fair in Edinburgh. Some of our producers went this year and it was a really lovely intimate event for both trade and consumers.
This Wine Plants Trees
We made The Piquette in direct response to the California wildfires that ravaged wine country this fall, as our own small part to help to slow climate change.
For every bottle of The Piquette you buy, we’ll plant a tree through our partners at TreeSisters, a global nonprofit focused on reforesting the tropics by inspiring and channeling women’s leadership into local and global action.
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Wine Cider Piquette Olive Oil
AmByth Estate believes in producing wines that are made with minimal intervention: letting the wine make itself. We do not use additives or other winemaking gimmicks to manipulate the fruit that comes from our vineyards. Many factors influence that years crop, and we want to taste these influences in the wine. We do not fine or filter and we use only native yeasts. We gently foot crush our red grapes and let them set on their stems and skins until full fermentation has taken place. We also strive to produce wines of normal, old-fashioned alcohol levels, so that we have drinkable wines which create that magical harmony between wine and food.
Wine is a lover of food, it should caress and bring out the very best.
We are proud to make interesting natural wines that share a common thread, wines that definitely tell you you’re drinking AmByth. The wines are aged in neutral oak barrels, Terracotta amphorae, California Clay amphorae , and white vitrified clay eggs from Australia to express true terroir and varietal characteristics with little manipulation of only the aging vessel.
Star Chef Grant Van Gameren Fails To Impress With Latest Offering
Joanne Kates trained at the Ecole Cordon Bleu de Cuisine in Paris. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Macleans and Chatelaine.
Is Grant van Gameren phoning it in? And if yes, does it matter?
When you have an ever-expanding little restaurant empire, being the chef, the guy behind the stoves every night, is literally impossible. Second choice is being the guy who drives around town at a ferocious pace and checks on the food theyre cooking in all his places. Other than burnout, the problem with that is the disempowerment of the people youre calling partner who actually do the daily heavy lifting in your/their restaurant. The uber-boss sticks his finger in their soup pot one too many times, and says it needs more of this and less of that, and artistic types get hostile.
Could this be part of why Grants new Piquette is so meh, foodwise?
Its being billed as a wine bar with small plates. To me, it doesnt matter how small the plate is or if it comes with a buttload of awesome wine choices If Im paying you for food, it had better be good. There is indeed a large list of interesting wines, and knowledgeable servers to do the sommelier thing. Except they cant do it very much because theyre run off their feet cause Piquette is so popular.
As dinner unfolds, it does so painfully slowly because, the server says: We filled up. And that was a surprise?
Piquette, 1084 Queen St. W., 416-533-7745
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What Is Piquette Wine
Traditional winemaking methods include crushing and pressing the grapes piquette is made with the leftover pulp, stems, and seeds from those grapes, also known as the “pomace.” This residue is placed in a fermentation vessel with water, and the end result is a tasty beverage that is low in alcohol and fizzy .
“Piquette has traditionally been drunk by vineyard workers,” Nomadica founder and CEO Kristin Olszewski says. “It’s a refreshing beverage that still allows for working after consumption thanks to its low ABV.” Piquette’s name originates from the French word piquer, which means to prick .
What Is Piquette Meet Wines Easy
Todd Cavallos memory was jogged when a friend showed him a passage from a book about the history of wine in 19th-century Europe. It related to a drink called piquette, a low-alcohol wine made from the second pressings of grape pomace, known to have been enjoyed by French farmhands and vineyard workers.
Cavallo had heard of piquette, but he never gave it much thought. The reminder proved timely. Cavallo, owner/winemaker at the small, sustainably focused Wild Arc Farm in New Yorks Hudson Valley, was looking for a way to reuse his pomace, the dense clumps of grape skins, seeds, stems and pulp that remain after juice has been pressed for wine. Hed experimented with distillation, but piquette seemed like the perfect solution.
After another year spent refining his technique, Cavallo released three piquettes from his 2017 vintage in the spring, and a fourth later that autumn, all from different grape varieties. He became the first producer to make a commercial piquette in North America.
These bottlings, low in alcohol and with a touch of fizz that makes them reminiscent of wine spritzers, quickly gained fans. And it wasnt just consumers who lapped up Wild Arcs drinkability and affordable $15 price point, but also fellow winemakers. Within a year, more than a dozen small-scale, mostly natural-leaning winemakers from Oregon to Texas, Quebec and New Yorks Finger Lakes, announced plans to release their own piquette.
That figure is growing.
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Celebrated Chef Teams Up With Bar Isabel Alumni On New Queen West Wine Bar
Celebrated chef and restaurateur Grant van Gameren is teaming up with two alumni from his restaurant Bar Isabel, Nathan Morrell and Ellen Shrybman, to open Piquette, a new wine bar scheduled to hit Queen West next month.
Piquette is a French term for a simple and refreshing wine made from pouring water into the leftovers of winemaking. This process mirrors the ideology behind the upcoming wine bar. The 30-seat bistro will focus on expanding the minds of wine drinkers without the exclusivity and expense of a more fine dining experience. It will feature a clever wine list curated to present lesser known wines and producers. Morell hopes that others will see that pretension and good wine dont necessarily go hand in hand.
As an award-winning sommelier with experience in some of the worlds top wine regions, Nathan Morell is passionate about expanding the minds and palates of his clients. Piquette is looking to expose Torontonians to wines they wouldnt be able to find anywhere else, showcasing some of Shrybman and Morells favourite small vintners. Shrybamn received a masters in Food Culture from the University of Gastronomic Science in Piemonte, Italy.
In our years working in the restaurant and wine industries, Nate and I have come across so many incredible wines that you cant easily get in Ontario. One of the most exciting parts about this project is that we can finally showcase our favourite small producers that are making exceptional wines, said Shrybman.
Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery
Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery is no stranger to innovation. Located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri approximately 40 minutes outside of Kansas City the winery started producing a late-harvest orange wine in 2018 and offers a popular low-ABV wine, KAIscape, year-round. On Leap Day, Fence Stile released the first Missouri-made piquette, a fizzy, 9-percent-ABV, hazy pink wine made with Chambourcin grapes, which lend it light berry flavors and give it a little pluminess. Owner and winemaker Shriti Plimpton says she wanted to work with Chambourcin grapes for the beautiful color the grapes themselves are violet, releasing a pink or red juice. The thing I love about the piquette is that you actually get to taste the harvest it tastes like the grapes without being grape juice, she says. Theyre a little bit lighter and more refreshing, and the sparkling characteristic makes it bright and fresh. Plimpton says shed love to play around with the style again in her next piquette, shed like to use a white grape varietal.
Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery, 31010 W. 124th St., Excelsior Springs, Missouri, fencestile.com
The Cape Girardeau brewery uses historic and wild yeast strains to produce an ever-changing lineup of unique beers.
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Where Did Piquette Come From
Derived from the French word for prick or prickle, which describes the drinks slight fizz, piquette dates to ancient Greek and Roman times, when it was known as lora. Considered a meager, cheap-to-produce drink made from the scraps of winemaking, it was given to slaves and field workers.
In France, piquette is said to have been the preferred drink of vineyard workers at the lunch table, as its low alcohol encouraged post-lunch productivity rather than an alcohol-fueled stupor. In Italy, piquette has various names including acqua pazza, acquarello and vinello.
While the style is tied closely with France, nearly all European winemaking countries have their own version of piquette, usually made and consumed by field workers and their families.
The Challenges Of Making Piquette
Despite its working-class roots and deceptively simple recipejust add water to pomacemodern piquette production comes with its fair share of challenges.
Bacterial infections can occur much more easily when the alcohol levels drop and the pH rises with the water addition, says Cavallo. Some of the lactic acid bacteria that thrive at higher pH are what actually gives the piquette its interesting flavor profiles, but you can get too much , acetobacter or other baddies, that can ruin an entire tank if you arent clean and careful.
To combat this, many winemakers add a small amount of wine back into the tank. They also introduce honey or sugar before bottling to kick-start a second fermentation, which gives piquette a soft spritz. Most producers ferment with wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation and dont add sulfur. Alcohol levels tend to fall between 49% alcohol by volume . Piquette can be found packaged in Belgian beer bottles, under crown caps and even in cans.
Because piquette involves the reuse of a byproduct that would normally be thrown out, winemakers often work with whatever grapes they have on hand from their traditional wines. Different varieties yield different results.
I like to say that takes one of the common tastes from a grape and just blows it out, says Cavallo. For example, 2017 Riesling piquette was like drinking a tropical pineapple soda. The 2017 Traminette was all elderflower, and the 2017 Cab Franc had a very green nose.
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A Secret No More This Eco
When it comes to warm-weather beverages, were all for freshly cracked White Claws and ice-cold canned wines. But this summer season, Piquette a zero-waste, low-ABV wine-like beverage is setting the standard for sessionable and seasonal drinking.
While Piquette dates back to Roman times, the wine beverage feels surprisingly current for todays drinkers its light, low in sugar and incredibly chuggable.
Chill it and kill it, says Kristin Olszewski, the wine director of Gigis in Los Angeles and co-founder of the canned wine brand Nomadica. Piquette is the perfect summer sipper. Its low-alcohol, aromatic, refreshing and easy to drink. Theres nothing fussy about it.
Piquette is made with wine grapes, but it isnt technically a wine. Winemakers craft Piquette out of the dredges of the regular winemaking process, adding water to grape pomace and fermenting it into a fizzy, fresh beverage.
Rather than chucking out the grape discards, Piquette lets winemakers give new life to the grapes, making low-cost, wine-esque drinks generally reserved for family, friends and farmhands. Traditionally piquette was drunk by vineyard workers in Europe, explains Obsidian Wine Co co-founder Arpad Molnar. Its a refreshing beverage that still allows for working after consumption.
With all that in mind, settle into the warmer days ahead and pop open one of the following bottles of homegrown, standard-setting Piquettes.
Piquette Blanc 100% Albarino
Piquette is an easy-drinking, lower alcohol wine fermented using grape skins or pomace that has already been pressed. Piquette is a French term that commonly refers to a vinous beverage produced by adding water to grape pomace, and at times refers to a very simple wine or wine substitute. In the case of our Piquette Blanc, we added water to our pressed Albarino pomace, fermented the remaining sugars and bottled with just a splash of Albarino wine for additional flavor.
Unfiltered with a touch of sweetness and a very light effervescence round out the finished wine making it a fun springtime sipper. Tropical notes of banana, lychee, and pear with a slight creamy or custard finish.
We suggest pairing the Piquette with prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, spinach goat cheese salad, or with Marcona almond and fresh fruit over vanilla cream with shortbread.
Au Natural as a series is a creative expression, and the labels for this series are equally as creative. The label for our Piquette Blanc was designed with an artistic expression in mind, incorporating watercolor elements to represent the creative expression natural wines encompass.
For those looking to enjoy a sip or two of the Piquette this summer, it is available for tastings or bottle purchases at the Bluemont tasting room, as well as available for bottle purchases online.
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Piquette Around The World
In Australia, Burgundy-born winemaker Gilles Lapalus first made piquette from Syrah pomace 16 years ago at the renowned Victoria winery, Sutton Grange, before he started his own label, Maison Lapalus.
Last year, he tried his hand at piquette once more, when he used pomace from his winerys Nebbiolo, Syrah and Mourvèdre bottlings. This year, hes settled on a Nebbiolo piquette for its aromatic notes and light color. To date, production has been too small for public release.
Some, like Regan Meador, the founder of Southold Farm + Cellar who relocated from the North Fork of New Yorks Long Island to the Hill Country of Texas several years ago, believe we shouldnt be thinking too hard about piquette.
To me, simplicity wins out, he says. Just like the Romans and the many who came after them, this isnt an endeavor of place, or varietal or any of the current trappings of wine. It is quite literally using the scraps. So we dont separate varieties, we make one big pot and then keg- condition it.
Very, very simple, low alcohol, inexpensive and crazy refreshing.
fills the space where many people would drink beer, says Christopher Missick, owner/winemaker of Bellangelo Winery in the Finger Lakes. I have had many people comment that our piquette is reminiscent of some of their favorite sour beers.
Erin Rasmussen, owner/winemaker at the new American Wine Project, based out of Madison, Wisconsin, agrees.
Three Piquettes To Try
Made from leftover grape skins, piquette plays into many new wine trends such as an increased focus on sustainability and the prevalence of low-alcohol, easy-drinking drops. Just don’t expect something similar to wine many piquettes taste more like sour beer or scrumpy cider, says Spain.
Here are three to try available at select independent bottle shops and online retailers before more new releases arrive in spring. Spain highly recommends BK Wines Piquette Atomic Bomb when it drops in August.
Gilbert Family Wines Piquette 2021, Orange, $24
A tangy blend of gewurztraminer and sangiovese with notes of rosewater and musk . Inspired by the piquettes winemaker Will Gilbert encountered in North America where the style has been rising in popularity over the past few years.
Defialy Wine Wild & Free Bitza Piquette 2021, Heathcote, $20
Handmade by butcher and winemaker Micah Hewitt in the Macedon Ranges, this experimental release is ready to drink now with anything from Cheezels to comte. Bright with wild-fermented fiano and pecorino skins plus fruity shiraz and carmenere .
Vinden Wines Piquette 2021, Hunter Valley, $25
Starring organic Hunter shiraz skins for a dry, refreshing quaffer weighing in at five per cent alcohol. Ideal for picnics and charcuterie when the sun’s out .
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