WRITTEN BY BRIAN CARPENTER
Piquette, like pet nat, is an ancient style largely forgotten (or ignored) until the recent wave of avant-garde natural winemakers. Piquette was a favourite drink of European vineyard and winery workers to have something refreshing to drink without cutting into the premium product they should be saving for customers.
It’s made by using the pomace – grape skins, stems, seeds and yeast leftover from fermentation in the bottom of the tank after the juice has been drained off. The pomace contains a small amount of sugars and fermentable material. They reclaim it by filling the tank back up with water and allowing it to re-ferment and bottling while still fermenting.
Sitting around 5% alcohol, this refreshing, lightly fizzy sour grape drink sits stylistically between a fruited sour beer and a pet nat in style. We’re lucky enough to have a few bottles of Angus Vinden’s sold out Piquette. Beautifully packaged in a one litre glass swing top bottle, this unique and memorable wine smells like a fermenting tank during vintage and is reminiscent of grapes (surprise surprise), sour cherry and forest floor during heavy rain.
Not only has Angus led the reimagining of his parent’s vineyards and winery under the Vinden Estate label, and now produces his own wines under The Vinden Headcase. Being both Halliday’s ‘Dark Horse’ Winemaker of the year as well as taking out top marks with Mike Bennie for his natural wines is a rare position to be for anyone but particularly for someone as young as Angus. This naturally talented young man is surely a one to watch!