• 2021 Pinot Gris
    Anderson Valley, Mendocino
    • (750 ml) Sold Out!
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Pinot Gris was a spontaneous mutation of Pinot Noir in the Middle Ages and typically is grown where Pinot Noir thrives. Until the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a popular variety in Burgundy and Champagne but due to low and inconsistent yields it lost favor and was mostly replaced by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In the 20th century, nurseries in Alsace and Germany were able to develop clonal varieties that produced more consistent yields. Similar to Sangiovese, Pinot Gris skins contain astringent quercetin glycosides which are the plant's auto-defense mechanism to protect itself from ultraviolet rays. Although quercetin is believed to have antioxidant health benefits, astringency is not desirable in a delicate white wine. We've noticed that when Pinot Gris clusters are grown in full sunlight, the skins turn a russet color—research has shown that they have up to seven times the quercetin glycosides concentration as compared to shaded fruit—and the wine produced may have some astringency. Pinot Gris clusters grown in dappled sunlight develop very dark skins and are almost indistinguishable from ripe Pinot Noir. Over the years we've developed an elaborate Navarro trellis where the vine's shoots are spread and form an umbrella shape that helps protect the fruit from direct sunlight.

[above] Navarro's trellis in a Pinot vineyard. The umbrella-shaped canopy keeps the fruit out of direct sunlight for most of the day.
Pinot Gris clusters; the upper half of the foreground cluster was grown in the sun and appears almost bleached. [below] The other clusters, grown in the shade, are about as dark as Pinot Noir. The sun cluster contains up to seven times more astringent quercetin.

The juice from three vineyard blocks was fermented and aged sur lie for seven months in French oak ovals adding a smooth savory quality to Gris' refreshingly crisp flavors of lemon and quince. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class. 98 points.

[above] Sarah and Ted on the winery crush pad.

  • Harvested: Sept. 5 to 27, 2021
  • Sugars at harvest: 23.5° Brix
  • Bottled: May 3 & 4, 2022
  • Cases produced: 1,517
  • Alcohol: 13.4%
  • Titratable acidity: 5.9 g/L
  • pH: 3.28