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Today's email will be short and to the point: July 4th is upon us, and so is a nasty heat wave! With temperatures and humidity at a high, we will all be thirsty for the coldest and most refreshing beverage possible. Enter Wild Arc Farm's Piquette from the Hudson Valley! A beverage with a history dating back to Greek and Roman times, 'Piquette' is the French term for a low-alcohol wine that is made using the pomace (pressed grapes) from winemaking, and combining it with water for a day or two. Once fermented, the resulting wine is typically below 10% abv, and is the perfect accompaniment to a scorching hot summer day.
Our friends Todd and Crystal are the core of the team at Wild Arc Farm in the Hudson Valley. After decades in New York City, and several years spent looking for a weekend home north of the city, they finally decided to settle down in the area after finding an idylic house set amongst 10 acres of farmland. Their idea was to develop a Biodynamic farm, and as they had already tried their hand at making home brew beer, cider, and several other concoctions, growing grapes and producing wine became an obvious next step. Their vines are still babies at the moment, but they found a few grape-growers in the area, and have been working with them towards the goal of fully organic viticulture.
There are three Piquettes to choose from today, and they're all an absolute joy to drink. What sets these apart from a classic interpretation is the inclusion of about 15% finished wine to raise the alcohol content and provide some acidity, and the use of local wildflower honey to create some bubbles from second fermentation in the bottle. We don't have much of a reference point for Piquettes, aside from the funky offering from Julien Guillot at Vignes du Mayne, but we couldn't be happier with these! Low-alcohol, fizzy, funky and fresh...and just in time for the holiday, the perfect American libation for July 4th! Eben Lillie & Oskar Kostecki
Our friend Todd Cavallo has been sourcing grapes from his neighbors at Bruynswick Vienyards in Gardiner New York, and has been working with them to move towards organic growing practices. The Wild Arc Traminette Piquette is the most effusive of the lot, positively jumping out of the glass with notes of acacia and white blossom, followed by lemon, orange, grapefruit, and citrus zest. The palate is fresh and lively, beautifully combining all the aromas from the nose as it dances across your tongue. The ultimate vin de soif. Oskar Kostecki
This Chardonnay Piquette is funky! Like a mixture of wine, sour beer, and cider, it is chock full of notes of baked apple, pear, orange, orange peel, pastry crust, white flowers, and late summer magnolia. There is a slight sappy quality to this wine, but it is nonetheless light and refreshing. Oskar Kostecki
This Piquette is pure, juicy fun! Notes of cherry, wild raspberries, wild strawberries, and red currants interweave with more savory characters of sesame and horse hair (in the best possible way!) and an underlying Cabernet Franc herbasciousness. The perfect pairing for a July 4th barbacue. Oskar Kostecki