There\u2019s a different kind of buzz\u2014or rather, fizz\u2014around American wine. This time, it\u2019s coming out of the Northeast. Winemakers there are putting a new spin on lesser-known, cold-hardy grapes like La Crescent, Cayuga, Brianna and Marquette to create distinctive and delicious sparklers.\r\nHistory and hybrids\r\nIn New York\u2019s Finger Lakes region, Winemaker Nathan Kendall\u00ad and New York City Master Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier have been making waves with Ch\u00ebp\u00ecka, a line of bubblies using the often frowned-upon Catawba and Delaware grapes. They were attracted by these varieties\u2019 hardiness\u2014and their history.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn the late 1800s, the Finger Lakes\u2019 international reputation was built on sparkling wines made from those grapes,\u201d says Kendall.\r\nBold Tastemakers\r\nIn Vermont, the critically acclaimed sparklers made by Deirdre Heekin at La Garagista are exported to Canada and Europe. In the same state, Shelburne Vineyards Winemaker Ethan Joseph\u00ad has created a line called\u00a0Iapetus that\u2019s focused on producing natural wines. Cold-hardy bubbles make up half of the Iapetus range.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSimilar efforts by Brian Smith at Maine\u2019s Oyster River Winegrowers have gained followers as far as Arizona and Washington State.\r\n\r\nThese winemakers employ a sustainable, low-intervention approach and largely rely on a sparkling category known as p\u00e9tillant naturel, or p\u00e9t-nat. In that style, wines are bottled before the end of fermentation to produce the bubbles, as opposed to traditional method, which uses a second fermentation in bottle.\r\nThe case for p\u00e9t-nat\r\nHeekin points out that effervescence of the wines matches the energetic acidity present in alpine varieties.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe high acidity, lower alcohol and flavor profiles, sometimes related to Muscat, lend themselves well to sparkling,\u201d she says.\r\n\r\nSparkling also avoids aromas known as \u201cfoxiness,\u201d prevalent in cool climates. Kendall says that early harvest helps prevent it, while Heekin has found it less of an issue as her vines mature. But p\u00e9t-nats avoid the problem altogether.\r\n\r\nThe style is also fun and meant to be enjoyed young. The wines\u2019 mineral character and crunchy texture provide a playful counterpoint to the aromatics that will appeal to all sorts of drinkers.