Pisa Range – Pinot Gris Debut
Pisa Range is known for its Pinot Noir and Riesling, with a well-tracked record of scores and cellaring potential. Their current vintage of Riesling is 2015, an excellent complex style showing savoury tertiary development and Soli Vero Pinot Noir 2020, released last year is drinking superbly; the Run 245 Pinot Noir is consistently an overachiever, great for restaurant wine by the glass programme.
The newly released Pinot Gris 2022 fruit is sourced from the Waitaki Valley, a tiny region with only 59 hectares of vines planted in total, centred around the town of Kurow, fifty minutes drive inland from Oamaru, along the Kurow River.
A defining feature of the Waitaki is the limestone soil, formed by a geological fault line pushing a 38 million-year-old seabed up alongside the river, creating a limestone-rich north-facing slope. The limestone retains heat and reflects sunlight to aid the marginal growing season. The cool wine-growing region has a warmed summer and long, dry autumn allowing the grapes to ripen late in autumn and is often the last pick of the country.
The limestone bedrock overlying with river gravel provides chalky minerals to the wine, a distinct mouthfeel quality that goes hand in hand with the steely acidity, which drives length and tension, and is captured in this wine.
Pisa Range Estate was established by Warrick and Jenny Hawker in 1995, pioneering grape planting in the Pisa district. Jenny developed and ran Sales and Marketing, distributing of the business until her passing in 2017. After her mother's passing, Daughter Sigrid Bodmin took on the General Manager role and continued its success.
Here, I review the debut Pisa Range Pinot Gris 2022.