During my vacation on the Sunshine Coast, I enjoyed a very nice dinner at Seasider Bistro in Powell River. I had their Bouillabaisse and paired it with a glass of Kettle Valley Winery Pinot Gris 2019. The pairing was very nice, but the wine made me wonder how to describe it. Pinot Gris grapes can take on a pinkish hue when they mature and this colour can bleed into the juice making a light pink (or orange) coloured wine. But this wine was different. It was a deep, rich orange colour.
The Kettle Valley Winery describes their wine production for their 2019 Pinot Gris as “The grapes for this wine come from the following vineyards; Sartor in Summerland, Pereira and Secord in the Similkameen Valley, and the Cossentine vineyard in Penticton. The grapes for this wine were handpicked between September 12 and October 17, 2019 at approximately 23.8 brix. The grapes were crushed and left on the skins to cold soak for three days prior to being pressed off. A portion of this wine has been barrel fermented before being blended with wine that was fermented in stainless steel tanks.“
You could say that this is just a Pinot Gris wine. The colour is just a by-product of the mature grape skins bleeding colour into the must.
You could say that this is a Rosé wine. It does have a colour that you can expect from a Rose wine. The grape skins were intentionally left to soak for three days producing this colour.
You could say that this is an Orange (natural) wine. In the traditional white winemaking process grapes are pressed to remove skin contact and then the must is fermented. For red wines, the grapes generally are crushed and then the skins are left in contact with the juice so that that we get our ruby and garnet coloured wines. These white grapes were intentionally left to cold soak to produce the orange colour that we see in the wine. So does this qualify to be an orange wine? If the winery uses indigenous yeasts for fermentation, I could lean toward this classification, but we don’t know whether indigenous or cultured yeasts were used.
The wine is currently SOLD OUT, but it was listed at $24. If this wine was listed as a Rosé or an Orange wine would you be willing to pay an extra $2-4? I am curious to find out how people view these wine styles and whether you would be willing to pay extra for these categories? Post your comments below, please. I love hearing from you.