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Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris isn't exactly an abundant grape planted in Stellenbosch, but it is something Mick and Jeanine have a lot of fun working with. Although a lot of the wine drinking world think and assume it is a 'white grape' it is in fact a lovely coppery/dark rose skinned grape. They identified this incredible site, called the Newlands Vineyard, farmed by Deon Joubert, on an easterly slope facing back toward Stellenbosch. It is a relatively young block, planted in 2005, but showing tremendous balance and intensity. It ripens extremely early and it almost always the first fruit in.

With this 'color thing' being the case, one cannot waste that beautiful color, so in the cellar it is fermented like a red wine on the skins. The fruit was hand-picked around 21.5 brix in early February and destemmed but left whole berry. Fermentation occurred naturally on the skins in open top fermenters with light pumpovers and gentle punchdowns throughout fermentation. Due to severe drought conditions in 2018, the skins were quite tannic. So Mick only left the juice on skins for 6 days this year to keep the tannins in check. After six days, the free run was racked off and the skins were gently pressed to barrel. Following eight months in old French oak tonneau the wine received one racking to tank with no additions throughout the lifecycle other than a small amount of SO2. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

A floral top note before red cherry, Pink Lady apple, watermelon and a hint of earthiness. Medium-bodied with dense fruit, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins.

  • Region: Stellenbosch
  • Varietal: 100% Pinot Gris
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Vineyard: Newlands Vineyard grown by Deon Joubert
  • Vine Age: 13 years old
  • Yield: 2 tons per acre
  • Soil Type: Gravel, Sand and 'Koffieflip' (Ferricrete or 'Coffee Stone')
  • TA: 4.9 grams per liter
  • pH: 3.75
  • Alcohol: 11.9%
  • Skin Contact: 6 days on skins
  • Oak: 8 months in seasoned French tonneau
  • Production: 558 cases
Winery & Regional Information

Many of the photos you see of South African vineyards – positioned in front of striking granite mountains,–are from the Stellenbosch area. It contains the most developed vineyares; it is home to an important wine University (University of Stellenbosch); and it is the center of wine tourism. In short, Stellenbosch is to South African wine much like Napa is to... Learn More »



Craven Wines is a winemaking collaboration between husband-and-wife team Mick and Jeanine Craven.  Mick is an Aussie currently working as lead winemaker at Mulderbosch during the day;  Jeanine is South African, and they met in California 'dragging hoses' in Sonoma for harvest in 2007.  After both having taken to the text books at their respective universities, they 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.  After travelling across the world together for four years and learning about wines in Australia, Europe... Learn More »

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