The spring of 2014 started well with warm weather resulting in a good flowering giving moderate crop levels. The summer was warm but tailed off to a long dry autumn with cool nights perfect for ripening both the Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer grapes used to make this wine. Because of this the grapes were perfect without any disease, which is especially important when making Orange Wine. The grapes were harvested early to mid April; the long hang time gives richly flavoured grapes yet the cool autumn evenings preserve good acidity levels.
This is a blend of grapes from both Cabal and Greystone Vineyards. Both are situation on North facing slopes of the Waipara Valley. The soils consist of clay and limestone. Pinot Gris (PG) grapes were sourced from Cabal Vineyard and both Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer (Gew) from Greystone Vineyard.
Orange Wine involves making white wine using similar techniques to those used to make red wine. It’s an age old technique and involves minimal intervention from the winemaker. It takes a certain amount of nerve however to let the wine make itself. There were two vats, one was a combination mostly of PG and some Gew, the bunches of grapes were destemmed resulting in whole berries. The other vat was 100% PG where the bunches were hand picked and put into an open topped barrel which we transported to the vineyard. Only small children could fit in the top of the barrel and they foot crushed the bunches as they were picked; hence the name Little Stomper. Natural yeast carried out both fermentations and then after one year in barrel the wine was bottled without fining or filtration of any sort. The wine is slightly cloudy and will throw a small deposit in the bottle. No sulphur dioxide has been added but the resulting wine has good tannin levels which will enable bottle aging for the next 1-2 years.
Stunning aromas of berry fruit, strawberry, cranberry and raspberry with a salty edge that is backed up by interesting peppery, earthy and chalky nuances. The palate is rich and full with mouth coating tannins (extracted from both the stems and skins) that give a salivating texture producing a style similar to a light red wine made from Nebbiolo grapes. This wine is incredibly drinkable and an excellent food match as the tannins will cut the richness of most dishes.