NV Sanctum Sticks + Bugs Piquette White
Region: Lipoglav < Lower Styria (Štajerska) < Slovenia
Grapes: Chardonnay (mostly)Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; 4,000 vines/ha, 1.5 kg/vine; continental cool climate; marl, clay, sand soils; steep hills and valleys (45 degree slopes); no irrigation in vineyards; winemaking pomace is soaked in water for 1-2 weeks and pressed again; natural fermentation in bottle; 8% ABV
Winemaker: Marko Podkubovšek
In the mid-12th century, French Carthusian monks settled and planted the land with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in and around Štajerska, Slovenia. Today, Marko Podkubovšek and other family members produce a fun variety of wines with those same vines. The team is strongly committed to a low intervention process in the vineyards and in the cellar, resulting in terroir-driven wines for lots of different occasions. Their wines are a gentle reminder that Slovenia is still one of Europe’s hidden winegrowing gems.
'Sticks & Bugs' is Marko's piquette, which is a wine-like beverage made from a second pressing of the grape must with spring water. We're big fans of piquette not only for its low-ABV, refreshing qualities but also because it's super eco-friendly - after all, this is literally wine made from the scraps. Nothing wasted! And this one is unique in that it's a piquette pet'nat, which here is a low-alcohol sparkling hybrid made from the second pressings of grape pomace that get an infusion of Chardonnay juice/skins to kick off a second fermentation in the bottle, pet'nat style. Derived from the French word for “prick” or “prickle,” which describes the drink’s slight fizz, piquette dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Given that it was a cheap-to-produce drink made from the scraps of winemaking, it was given to slaves and field workers. Fast forward to today, when piquette is often the preferred drink of vineyard workers at the lunch table, as its low alcohol encourages post-lunch productivity rather than that booze-fueled stupor.
And this one is so light and refreshing, tasting like a minerally kombucha of lemon, apple, grapefruit and ginger, and clocking in at a mere 8% alcohol -- not much more than your kombucha but way more fun.