Winemaker Mike Sinor is the SLO Wine Country Champagne Renegade. Instead of beginning with traditional-method sparklers, he started using traditional and new/interesting varieties, plus the older, pared-down and simple, méthode ancestral instead.
He has also created Champagne-style bubbles…read below!
Pétillant Naturel, or Pét-Nat, is an even more ancient way to make sparkling wine than the widely-used méthode champenoise (also called méthode traditionelle) originated in Champagne, France. In the méthode ancestrale, the wine is bottled with a crown cap before it even finishes its first fermentation, so it develops carbon dioxide as it goes. It’s not disgorged, often unfiltered, and can be made from any grape variety.
Each year at Sinor-Lavallee, you can find something different and fun as Sinor experiments with all-natural frizzante bubbles.
Sinor’s Ancestral Pét-Nat Sparkling Pinot Noir is still available, in limited quantity. This is his original Sparkling Wine, first released in 2016, and exudes a very traditional taste and feel.
Notes on the 2018:
Mike Sinor continues to hone his pétillant naturel talents, and this is his best bubbly bottling yet. The cloudy wine gives off sharp aromas of frozen pluot, lime blossom and grapefruit juice before delivering a similar palate of grapefruit rind and fresh citrus. It puckers the mouth, but pleasantly.Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast
The original Ancestral Pét-Nat Sparkling Pinot Noir is sometimes available, and the latest sparkler is 2022 Pét-Nat Sparkling Pinot Noir – a Rosé sparkling wine this time! This is available only in the tasting room.
Before that, the 2020 Soirée Du Gris was made from Pinot Gris in the spirit of vinho verde (this means it was picked early, when the grapes are almost still green) and delivers crispness to the palate, with flavors of green apple, pear and jasmine.
And now, Mike Sinor has released a Non-Vintage sparkling wine called Eclipse 137. Looking forward to trying this!
Méthode Champenoise is how sparkling wine is made in the Champagne region of France, also called méthode traditionnelle or classique. This is the highest-quality and most labor-intensive way to make sparkling wine. It involves bottling the still wine with additions of sugar and yeast after a first fermentation, ensuring a second fermentation happens in the bottle, trapping the bubbles inside. It then goes through aging (and periodic turning of the bottles to force the lees to the neck of the bottle), until it’s ready for dégorgement (to get these lees out) and dosage (to finish the wine).
See more! There are over 80 sparkling wine producers in San Luis Obispo County.
Shuck Your Own Oysters at Sinor-LaVallee
Plus, you can now get oysters to shuck yourself at the Sinor-LaVallee Shuck Shack in Avila Beach!