Winemaker, Sean Brennan, experiments with different winemaking methods to make various styles of this grape varietal. His Pinot Gris is inspired by a more French or Alsatian style – slightly more rich and voluptuous in style. Compared to his Italian-inspired style (aka Pinot Grigio), which is generally more grassy and sharp. This one is the softer of his two styles, coating the tongue with a beautiful plush juicy wine. Aromatic, friendly, and boldly seductive, this wine is just the way you want to begin a night.
This wine cuts through fried foods like a knife. Perfect with a fish and chips meal - flaky buttery fish with a crusty batter, and fries topped with malted vinegar. Also nice with salty or brined foods, like olives, sauerkraut, or coleslaw. Or if you don’t feel like anything heavy, a cheese and charcuterie platter with some nice seeded crackers will be just the thing you need to get this evening going.
Working with and learning about this family winery and operation has felt like a trip to New Zealand – to this small part of Central Otago called Gibbstown Valley. The history of the valley is great. An Irish guy named Alan Brady arrived in the 80s. At the time, the area was laden with sheep farms across the rolling hills. Alan was the first to plant grape vines in this cold part of Central Otago, and was convinced it would be a perfect growing region for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. 40 years later, Alan is still there, now as the resident master viticulturalist of the tiny region.
The Brennan family first arrived in New Zealand from Ireland in 1877. Dr. Sir Murray Brennan was born in Auckland, but was always drawn to Central Otago. He moved the family there in the 70’s. In 1994, his son Sean (the winemaker) began establishing the vineyard in Gibbston. Guided by Brady, the family planted some of the first vines in this region and haven’t looked back.