In mid-September 2009 Philo weather started to warm and by the 25th the highs exceeded 100°F. We had a field of Pinot Gris that was almost ready for harvest but letting fruit this ripe hang on the vine through a heat spell would dramatically lower acidity and cook the flavors so we decided to harvest before the heat wave. Winemakers in the Italian Alps generally harvest Pinot Grigio with less ripeness and sugar than their Alsatian counterparts who produce Pinot Gris. For this early harvest we emulated our favorite Grigios from Alto Adige. The grape's acidity is high and the alcohol is under 13%, making the wine a refreshingly, crisp accompaniment for grilled fish or prosciutto and melon. This wine displays more citrus and a less oily texture than the wine we bottle as Pinot Gris. The honeysuckle and spring flower bouquet introduce broad flavors of tangerine, honey and ginger. Quantities are limited and we will sell out quickly. Silver Medal winner.
We ferment all our Pinot Gris and Gewürz-traminer in French oak casks to generate a round mouth-feel. Manuel is cleaning the fermentation locks for these large casks. The locks are filled partially with water and inserted into the oval which allows carbon dioxide to escape from the fermenting wine, yet keeps the oxygen from entering.