We called our first skin contact wine "Sexy Orange", because it was orange and we thought skin contact sounded rather risqué. The wine was a big hit, so we decided to make more. This year we extended the skin contact period a couple of extra days, and our grapes were a little riper.
Conventional Pinot Gris is pressed immediately upon harvesting, removing it from the skins and obtaining a clear, white wine. To make an "orange wine" we crush our grapes and ferment the wine with the grape skins just like you would with a red wine, until the cap drops. A russet hue and extra flavour compounds are extracted from the skins, resulting in a beautiful wine. The colour tells it all -- skin contact wines are obviously sexy!
Although this is the next generation of Sexy Orange, we decided to move away from that name for several reasons. Although still a skin contact wine (and therefore in our minds obviously sexy) we decided that name was a little too blatant and came up with "rather risqué" as a classier moniker. And while technically made using orange wine techniques, our style is more of an introduction to orange wine. Many enthusiasts of orange wines are looking for unfiltered, low sulphite, naturally fermented wines which may be cloudy and have a little sediment. In fact, the original orange wines underwent extended skin contact in buried clay vessels underground. That's not the style of this wine. We do practice low intervention, but we do what's necessary to achieve a stable, clear, approachable wine. Further, a small portion of consumers believe that orange wines are actually made from oranges. We don't want to confuse anyone - to be clear, our wines are 100% made from grapes.
Dry, smooth and fruity, in past vintages this wine rolls through your mouth with soft tannins and a crisp finish.
We expected to provide the first bottles of the 2019 vintage to our customers early in the Spring, but with 2020 being the year of COVID, we have run a little behind in our winemaking.
For a greater appreciation of this type of wine, pair with foods -- we've tried apricot brie, tapenade, and escargot sauteed in garlic and butter -- all delicious.