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Anna and Jason Flowerday, owners and winemakers of Te Whare Ra in the Renwick sub-region of Marlborough are passionate about aromatic grape varieties and particularly those from Alsace. When they thought about planting Pinot Gris they specifically chose a clone that is low cropping, with small bunches and berries as they felt it would deliver the best quality fruit. And it does.
The Flowerdays put as much care into the production of their Pinot Gris as they do for all their other wines using low yields, organic and biodynamic production, hand picking and sorting, gentle pressing and minimal intervention.
Anna told me that they wanted to make a more subtle style of Pinot Gris, not one full of tropical fruits as is usual in New Zealand. So they keep the wine longer than usual on the lees and ferment about a third of the wine in used oak barrels; both of these give texture and complexity to the wine.
Yet they have managed to retain a really classy elegance and subtle aromas and flavours - more white stone fruits than tropical fruits with hints of blossom, almond, spice and pear and a lovely crisp minerality. It's a dry wine, with medium body and a lovely silky texture. A superb wine!
Like all the TWR white wines I stock and their Pinot Noir, this wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians as no animal-based products are used - read my blog about how some wines might contain animal-derived products.
I also have some of the 2019 vintage in stock - please email me if you wish to include some of this in your order.
This dry white wine is beautiful to drink on its own but it will also pair well with spicy Chinese dishes and other Asian food.
"Finely structured with great purity and length of flavour and a lovely fleshiness. Lifted aromas of nashi pear, raspberry, red apple and white floral notes follow on to similar flavours along with savoury undertones which are balanced by a fine supple texture and lingering minerality."
Winery of the Year 2014 Raymond Chan Dec 2014
"... the Flowerdays represent the modern and young face of winegrowing in New Zealand, making a range of beautifully elegant, exceptionally high quality wines, with the greatest respect for the environment from which the fruit is obtained.
I’ve come across very few winegrowers and winemakers who give so much thought to every aspect of the vineyard, winery, winemaking, how their wines show in stylistic and quality terms, and how the wines are presented in the marketplace, as Jason and Anna. This reflects their passion, enthusiasm, extremely high standards, hard work and attention to detail in creating and crafting wines that reflect their vineyard and region, and their guiding the wines sensitively so that they are expressed with great finesse. At present, New Zealand wines are generally enjoyed for their strong and distinctively clear fruit flavours. It is apparent that our industry must progress towards producing wines which are more refined, subtly complex and textured with the ability to develop, so as to appeal to the increasing and maturing fine wine drinkers of the world. The Te Whare Ra wines are at the forefront of this movement in this country."
If you are not a fan of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, this wine will change your mind about that maligned grape & its wines. It is an Alsace style Pinot Gris - more stone fruits and minerality than tropical fruits, really elegant and subtle. It's a single vineyard organic Pinot Gris that is quite simply superb!