Most of my Pinot gris eggs are in this basket. Six years ago I asked Earl Van Volkinburg, the grower, to quadruple the acreage, and those vines are now in into production. The Vitae Springs Pinot gris used to be the smallest production lot at St. Innocent (one year we only produced 83 cases), but no longer.
Pinot gris intrigues me because of its unique spiciness. We make two gris - Shea and Vitae Springs Vineyards. Vitae Springs is done in a fruit forward style with no barrel aging. It emphasizes purity of fruit. The wine captivates your nose and mouth with its intriguing balance of fruit and spice. The wine ages beautifully and attains an even greater richness of fruit and viscosity after 4-7 years.
The Vitae Springs fruit was picked at 24 degrees Brix and was fermented dry. The fruit and spice aromas are very intense with great concentration on the palate and a clean, lingering finish. The fruit is a mixture of ripe stone fruit and orange rind. Ripe Pinot gris gets a intriguing spice quality that sometimes has an almost chili-like heat. The 2003 Vitae Springs gris is more Alsacian in charactor with especially lovely fruit.