Piquette? You Bet!

In winemaking, there seem to be a million ways to turn grapes into a bottled beverage. Some hardly use any grapes at all.

Piquette is among those. It takes a detour on its way to becoming grappa, the distilled Italian high-alcohol drink made from the pomace left over after grapes are crushed. Like grappa, piquette is made by adding water to the leftover grape skins, stems and seeds and is fermented, using up any remaining sugars.

Unlike grappa, the resulting product is a highly quaffable, low-alcohol drink that’s a midway between wine and hard seltzer, clocking in at roughly 6 percent alcohol. Beer enthusiasts might refer to it as a session wine.

Some argue that technically, piquette is not wine at all. And according to Craig Camp, general manager of Troon Vineyard, “Piquette is many things, but basically it’s frugal farmer fizz, a type of natural wine that has been made for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Those frugal farmers wasted nothing, and used the juice and skins left after pressing the wines they would sell to make wine for themselves and their workers.

“All the different names I’ve heard it called signify the many differing opinions. Some call it wine or petit vin, others call it wine-drink, wine-light, or wine-adjacent. I’ve even heard some consumers refer to it as ‘wine’s sloppy seconds’ and ‘the White Claw of wine.”

Perhaps the subject is more polarizing than politics. Read the whole story here on WinePress NW.

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