It feels like forever ago that we made this wine. As with all of our grape based projects, the fruit came from the family grape growers at Camwell Wines. We first started experimenting together even longer ago… Everything went through Frank; our old basket press that had seen much better days before we fixed him up.
Skin contact whites hadn’t really begun. Brad called me crazy for wanting to try. Orange wine didn’t exist in this country. I’d read about some old Italian and Eastern European countries coaxing more interesting flavours out of their otherwise fairly unexciting (to me) varietals. I hadn’t had much Vermentino either, and the Vermentino I had tried was … fairly bland. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places, maybe I wasn’t looking at all. It was like a more delicate Sauvignon Blanc. Anyway, I wanted to begin my wine experiments and this was available from my friends that year.
Not only did I want to wild ferment white, I wanted to expose it to potential oxygenation and subsequent browning, plus whatever the skin contact was going to do. After a lot of convincing work, we settled on just a day's skin contact time. Ferment went well and the fruity bouquet was interesting, but pleasant. Very different to the clean experimental control. Mouthfeel was a tad too delicate for what I wanted it to do, so after some more grappling back and forth, we left it on gross lees for an extended time.
Many years later, we had bottled the next two vintages in fact, I finally decided it was time to bottle this. How had this wine changed! We had seen good, bad and everything in between during that period. It was at it’s best for a year or more at this point, so it was time.
White gold colour and lightly effervescent, expect light peach notes and a quite full body for such an old white. I prefer it with the sediment stirred up as it really rounds out the peach. Feel free to decant off the sediment for the haze averse, saving all that flavour for yourself.
Grapes: McLaren Vale Vermentino
Skin Contact: 1 Day, Plunged
Yeast: Wild Ferment
Other Processes: Lees Stirred
Secondary: French Oak Barrique