After making Pinot Gris conventionally since 2002, I was fed up making the same boring wine. Not only did I loath to make it, I didn’t enjoy drinking it. I guess that energy flowed to the wine.
In 2013, I decided to try something different, and instead of trying to take the colour out, I would make it as I think it should be made. Wine is really risk and reward. I really didn’t like the grape so I decided to take some risks that we wouldn’t normally take. We began experimenting and each year we try push those boundaries a bit further.
So for 90% of the blend we:
Hand pick into bins. As soon as it’s picked we foot stomp the bins to release the juice so it can be in contact with the skins. No sulphur is added. We then chill the bins down to 12 degrees and wait for fermentation to begin.Near the completion of ferment, we press straight into old white barriques to finish fermentation.
5% of the blend:
Hand pick then immediately destem but don’t crush into 3 tonne fermenters. We then let it soak for 24 hours at 12 degrees. Fermentation will kick off naturally. Normally we press this after 7 days on skins or until it’s dry. So essentially we are treating this like a red wine.
We make it this way to try get a balance between aroma and tannin ripeness. The stalks from the first treatment adds some fine tannins and obviously you get a lot more tannin from the second treatment. We try and find a balance in between depending on the year.