Les Capriades

      What makes Capriades so amazing? Well, they manage to combine the best elements of Pet-Nat and Champagne in a way that I've never seen anyone else pull off. They are made like most Pet-Nats, with the secondary fermentation occuring with no additives. The bubbles occur because the wines are put in bottles while there are still some unfermented sugars. However, Moses and Pascal of Les Capriades were not only pioneers of natural sparkling wines, but also the pioneers of disgorging their Pet-Nats, i.e., shooting out the spent yeast from the bottles to make a cleaner, clearer sparkling wine. It's common in Champagne, but was not the norm for Pet-Nat, at least until other winemakers started tasting what Pascal and Moses were up to. So many look to them for their expertise that they have been sharing their knowledge and organizing a yearly fair for natural sparkling wine in the Loire since 2014 called Bulles au Centre. 

      Though many people now disgorge Pet-Nats, they still don't come close to Capriades. Why is this? Maybe it's because Pascal and Moses have been focussed on honing this style of bubbles instead of the small amount of still wines they produce. Most winemakers do the opposite, unless they are in Champagne. Maybe it's the organically-farmed Chenin Blanc, the limestone of the Loire, the extended barrel aging, or maybe it's all of these things, and that Pascal and Moses are just really, really good at what they do.
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