Why you should sip Bedell Cellars Gewürztraminer Pét-Nat

A glass of Bedell Cellars gewürztraminer pét-nat, enjoyed on the deck of the Tap Room at Corey Creek. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Earlier this week I visited Bedell Cellars’ new Tap Room at Corey Creek for the first time. It’s a decidedly more casual, fun space, with all tastings poured from taps (rather than bottle) and growlers available for fill and take home.

Some of the wines sold there are also available at Bedell’s main tasting room in Cutchogue — things like the sauvignon blanc, viognier and rosé — but there are also a few surprises that make the Tap Room a bit of a playground for winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich.

“I’m having a lot of fun with it and able to drill down a few more wine styles and showcase them on their own,” he told me in an email.

There’s a dry hard cider made by Olsen-Harbich, as well as a cabernet sauvignon where he employed carbonic maceration, a winemaking technique during which whole grapes are fermented in a carbon dioxide-rich environment prior to crushing. Both are worth checking out, but my favorite of the outliers is our “Wine of the Week,” Bedell Cellars 2016 Gewürztraminer Pétillant Naturel, or pét-nat for short.

Made by bottling a still-fermenting wine to capture carbon dioxide and lightly sparkle it, pét-nat is popular these days, and with good reason. They are forward, fun wines that are best enjoyed without thinking too hard.

But why gewürztraminer for his pét-nat?

“I thought the intense aromatics of the variety would be fun to see in a pét-nat. Inspired by the cremants and other rustic sparklers I’ve tasted from Alsace over the years,” Olsen-Harbich told me.

Just off-dry and fruity with tropical aromas and flavors layered with notes of lychee and candied ginger, it’s juicy, refreshing and just plain fun to drink.

There are more these experiments coming, including a petit verdot later this summer and an albariño next spring. These are typically blending components in the Bedell portfolio, but according to Olsen-Harbich, “I thought it interesting to show them on their own.”

Again these wines are only available in the Tap Room at Corey Creek. The Pet-Nat is $12 per glass and $30 for a growler.