2020 Deux Punx Pinot Gris Ramato
Region: San Benito County < California
Grapes: Pinot GrisVineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic/biodynamic farming; x soils; grapes are foot stomped, left on the skins for 1 week, then racked into neutral oak for 8 months, before bottling, unfined/unfiltered, with minimal added So2; 10.3% ABV; 70 cases
Winemaker: Dan Schaaf & Aaron Olson
Dan Schaaf, former skateboarder now water-resources engineer, and his partner Aaron Olson, former punk band drummer turned software
engineer, have no intention of ever trading the security of their
straight gigs for full-time winemaking. Because they don't want to be
dependent on the income from wine to put food on the table - lest it
change their motivation for natty winemaking and affordability. They
met in 2005 and bonded over this shared punk attitude. Their motto:
“Deux Punx are the antidote the wine industry needs. Utter crassness!
No training, no affiliations and plans to keep it that way. Punk rock
ethos insist wines are made frugally and sold for honest prices.”
The parallels between their love of punk/skate culture and the
back-to-basics, anti-establishment ethos of natural winemaking are
clear. They're all about risk and freedom, having skipped skilled
formal winemaking training, instead taking a DIY approach. Schaaf
says: “Aaron and I have always said, ‘let’s not be influenced, let’s
be outsiders a little bit.” And while they've come a long way, they're
still on the fringe -- and happy to stay there. They started with a
60 case production in 2007, and are now up to a whopping 700 cases
total across 8 or so different wines.
But the wines are good. Really good. Like this skin-contact Pinot Gris from a practicing organic and biodynamic vineyard in Tres Pinos, a small town located in San Benito County, CA. Going for a ramato style wine, the grapes spend a week on the skins, resulting in a glowing, cloudy orange potion that falls somewhere in between an orange wine and a rose. It smells spicy and herbaceous, but tastes quite exotic, with lush papaya, blood orange and peach. There's a nice viscosity to the texture -- orange jello maybe? And we also love the story behind the label: Dan’s nephew, who is autistic, did the art, and 10% of the profits from this wine go to autism awareness. A delicious wine that supports a great cause - what could be more perfect for Thanksgiving?