"Orange" wine is a category or genre of wine, sometimes referred to as "amber" or "skins ferment" wines. The category is defined by fermenting white grapes on skins, a technique more often used with red grapes. The spectrum of how the technique is deployed varies based on the producer or region and a range of grape varieties can be used. In 2017 we again selected Pinot Gris from our Gibbston vineyard with the two previous vintages showing us that the combination of this variety with the ancient technique and our beautifully fragrant subregion is a winning one. The pristine fruit in 2017 was a great incentive to experiment with more whole clusters in the fermentation (15%) and longer time on skins (40 days - double the amount of the 2016). The pressing decision was made on taste - on day 40 we found the wine was in perfect harmony. After 13 months in old Pinot Noir barrels and an additional 6 weeks in tank, the wine was bottled with no fining and no filtration. Each year we see a greater sense of place in our Valli Gibbston Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and we continue to see our special place in the Real McCoy Orange Pinot Gris. This reinforces everything we believe about provenance and the importance of site.
The colour of the wine comes from the grape skins and the semi-oxidative handling and is as unique as the character of the wine itself. A cooler vintage, 2017 had less colour in the skins to extract resulting in a wine with a more subtle colour of pale peach with a tangerine tinge. The nose is quite exotic with lychee, orchid, star anise, and cream soda. The palate is laden with tangerine, orange zest, pomegranate, nectarine and almond with beautiful fine tannin and fresh acidity that sings loudly of Gibbston. The Real McCoy gives exciting opportunities for food pairing including charcuterie platers, pork roast, risotto, grilled or poached salmon, Lebanese dishes, Indian cuisine, sushi, hard cheeses and a new favourite - fish and chips!"
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