Pinot gris intrigues me because of its unique spiciness. Vitae Springs is produced in a fruit forward style and is fermented in stainless steel (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 greater richness of fruit and viscosity after 4-7 years.
There are two blocks of Pinot gris at Vitae Springs Vineyard. The original planting is at the 'home' vineyard is 18 years old. The younger Inwood planting is 10 years old and in full production. In order to get the concentration and textures in the wine that I am looking for, we thin to a yield of 2.7 tons per acre. This compares to the average Alsace and Oregon yield of 5 tons per acre. The vines are small because the soil is thin, but the quality of the fruit is very high.
My focus is to produce Pinot gris made in an Alsacian style. I am looking for textural complexity; a wine that moves throughout your mouth. By picking late and harvesting at full ripeness, the signature spice component of Pinot gris is revealed. Vitae Springs has a Clementin orange peel quality to its fruit.
The 2007 Pinot gris, Vitae Springs Vineyard has a spicy nose with orange peel and citrus notes. That spiciness continues into the mouth with pear, apple and citrus flavors. It is very textural in the mouth. Completely dry, it is a great match for Asian-influenced foods, appetizers, and fish entrees.