Mission Estate has a long history with Pinot Gris dating back to the 1880’s when the first planting of this varietal was harvested.  Often referred to as the ‘Mission Selection’ clones of this planting continue to have an influence on the wide selection of Pinot Gris’s we enjoy in New Zealand today, including Mission Estate’s latest release – Mission Estate Pinot Gris 2016.

While you’re appreciating the pear and tropical fruit notes of this wine, perhaps take a moment to reflect on the journey of triumph over adversity that New Zealand’s oldest winery has been on to produce the stunning Pinot Gris.

Initially planted to provide a sweet white wine, the Brothers at Mission Estate had no idea how incredibly popular the new style of wine would become with Kiwis.  By 1922 they were selling over 10,000 litres of Pinot Gris each year, prompting a bigger cellar to be built.  Just seven years later, fire ripped through the new cellar and over 75,000 litres of precious wine was lost with some even being used to douse the fire, thus leaving a shortage of the popular wine.

The horrific 1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake destroyed all but 11,000 litres and stocks were completely destroyed in another serious earthquake in 1932.

In the spirit of Kiwi determination Mission Estate eventually bounced back, to once again successfully grow and produce Pinot Gris, making New Zealand’s first method traditional from the grapes in the 1960s.  Only one bottle remains of it’s 1960 Pinot Gris, no doubt making it the oldest bottle in existence in the country.

Wine making is an art, requiring patience, dedication and perseverance, and Mission Estate believes its rich history is proof of its future.

The fruit for the 2016 Mission Estate Pinot Gris was sourced from their own Cable Station vineyard in Marlborough’s stunning Awatere Valley.  This beautiful vineyard’s coastal location and climate is particularly well suited for producing exceptional Pinot Gris grapes, which grow best in sunny weather near a sea breeze.

With Marlborough enjoying long sunny days and the Awatere Valley enjoying a Pacific Ocean breeze, the Pinot Gris grapes grow for longer resulting in a wine with intense flavours and classic varietal character.

The palate is full and has a long clean dry finish and a very clean mouth-feel, which makes it the perfect match to summer staples like fish and white meat.  Available from Mission Estate cellar door and at selected retailers.  RRP $16.50

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