Bryterlater “Brambles” Orange Pinot Gris

If you haven't yet taken the plunge into the world of skin contact wine (aka "orange wine"), then this is a fantastic drop to dive into and start your exploration of the versatile and varied category. There's such pretty floral and fruit personality on the nose here that you can't help but get pulled into the glass. And then on the palate the floral fruity character is satisfyingly still there, but with a really great structure of weight, slightly grippy mouthfeel and a bit of mouthwatering salinity--that's the skin contact aspect coming through. An approachable, fresh, drinkable "gateway" orange wine. And if you're a Nick Drake fan, put the record on while you sip.

While still a young and considered “emergent” wine project, Bryterlater has already made a name for itself and its wines. They’re known for making natural or “low-fi” wines (i.e. without chemical additions, using wild yeast and minimal handling in the winery) that are clean, strutrured, expressive and bright. Based in North Canterbury, founder and winemaker James Opie seeks out fruit from organic vineyards that show a sense of place. Most of of his vineyard selections are in North Canterbury.

If you’re unfamiliar with orange wines/skin contact wines, the basic idea is that these are wines made from what we think of as white grapes, but the winemaking proces they go through is the same process that would be used to make red wines. In other words, the white grapes are crushed and the juice is left to steep and ferment, and sometimes soak further, along with the skins. This is different to the way you’d normally make white wine, where the juice would be pressed separated from the skins as soon possible. If you think about it, all grapes–even white grapes, and especially grapes like Pinot Gris, which are more of a deep copper colour when fully ripe–have colour in their skins. They also have grippy phenolic compounds and other goodies. So when you let the juice and skins spend more time together, the juice takes on some of that extra grip and texture and structure, along with a bit of extra colour, which is where the name “Orange Wine” comes from. 
This particular orange/skin contact wine isn’t super deep or amber in colour, but it does certainly follow the process we’ve just described. and the more you try this style of wines, the more you’ll see how much the colour and character can differ.

The idea behind the Bryterlater project (aside from being named after a Nick Drake album) is to make in their words, “deeply considered, juicy wines that capture the energy of the vineyard, and bring immense joy to the beholder.” We can definitely get behind that, and what we’ve tasted so far matches up!






About This Wine

Central Otago
Pinot Gris
Windblown glacial soils
Very versatile! Try it with Mediterranean flavours and dishes including olives, lemon peel, capers, olive oil, roasted red peppers, etc.