Not much Pinot Gris is grown in Stellenbosch but the Cravens love working with it. They found a great little site (planted in 2005) on an easterly slope that faces back towards Stellenbosch and now produce this rally interesting skin contact style. in the cellar it is fermented like a red wine on the skins. The fruit was hand-picked and de-stemmed but left whole. Fermentation occurred naturally on the skins in open top fermenters with light pumpovers and gentle punchdowns throughout fermentation. After a week, the free run was racked off and the skins were gently pressed to barrel. After 9 months in old French oak barrels the wine received one racking to tank with no additions throughout the lifecycle other than a small amount of SO2. It is then bottled unfined and unfiltered. The Cravens call it a light red. The palate is quite grippy and stony, showing sea spray, pear, some dried peach and subtle dried raspberries.
This Gris begs for a fillet of seared Atlantic Salmon or Ocean Trout.
Varietal / Blend: Pinot Gris
Farming Practices: Sustainable
"Our story begins back in 2007 while both 'dragging hose' in Sonoma, California, for the harvest season. A chance meeting between an Aussie and a South African has eventually turned into Craven Wines. After both having taken to the text books at our respective universities, we decided to hit the road, see lots of things, work in lots of places and try and learn as much as possible from this massive wine world. Since meeting we have both been on a similar journey to try and find exactly what we wanted to do. Luckily enough, we had very similar ideas.
So back in 2011 we moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa, a place we both have an affinity for. We both feel Stellenbosch has such an amazing array of sites and terroir, and that it is perfect for what we want to do. Which is make site-specific, honest wines. Let the grapes do the talking.... In terms of 'winemaking' we like to keep things as simple as possible. To try and achieve the wines we want to make, we feel the best methods are being hands off, while being very hands on. In other words we pay serious attention to the wine but we do not manipulate the wine. We believe the best way to express site and fruit is to show just that. We do not use cultured yeasts, enzymes, fining agents, etc. throughout the winemaking process. We only use older oak and try our best to find larger format barrels. We allow our wines to stabilise naturally if they so want to. Essentially a minimal amount of SO2 (which is our friend) is the only thing added to our wines."