Pet Nat Alvarinho
Monção and Melgaço, Vinho Verde DOC
António Luís Cerdeira
Quinta de Soalheiro is a leading wine estate nestled in Portugal’s verdant north, whose story and output is inseparable from the climb to international renown of the Alvarinho variety and the wines from Vinho Verde’s Monção e Melgaço subregion.
Soalheiro was founded in 1974 when João António Cerdeira and his parents, António Esteves Ferreira and Maria Cerdeira took the bold decision to plant a single, sun-soaked parcel of farmland entirely to Alvarinho. At the time, this decision was in stark contrast to the traditional practice of Portuguese farmers, which relegated grape vines to grow up pergolas planted at the periphery of dense cereal crops like maize. It was in this spirit of innovation and progress that one of western Iberia’s great wine producers was born. Today, third-generation siblings Maria João and António Luís, along with their mother Maria Palmira Cerdeira, continue to test limits and break new ground in pursuit of the finest expressions of their territory by way of the noble Alvarinho grape.
Looking at the sky is the oldest tool in winemaking. Alvarinho Pet Nat is a sparkling wine inspired in the ancestral method, a wine with natural movement and elegant bubbling.
Innovation has led Soalheiro to wines that in the past seemed unlikely to experiment with the Alvarinho grape variety. Pet Nat confirms the variety’s elasticity and proposes the relaxed discovery of a light and youthful sparkling wine.
Monção and Melgaço region, the most northern point of Portugal, is protected by a range of mountains that create a microclimate with the perfect harmony between rainfall, temperature, and number of hours of sunshine. These conditions allow for the best ripening of Alvarinho.
The Alvarinho grapes for this wine come from several small vineyards planted in granite soil, from 100 to 200 meters in altitude, allowing a strong expression of the characteristics of this grape variety.
At the end of alcoholic fermentation, when the wine has about 20 g of residual sugar, it is bottled, where the remaining sugars ferment and gain the typical bubbles of sparkling wine.
In this wine, there is no dégorgement, so the yeasts responsible for fermentation remain in the bottle, providing it with a cloudy appearance. It differs from other sparkling wines as its gas is the result of natural sugar from the first fermentation.
A fresh and light wine with a smooth aftertaste, Pet Nat Alvarinho can be drunk alone, or enjoyed with a conversation between friends, in a late afternoon in a bar. It is also an excellent choice for pairing with roasts and grills.