Look at the colours of these wines. To the right is a skin contact pinot gris and the left a full-on and delicious orange wine.
Ignore the moth that snuck into the picture.
I’m back in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley (Heaven and Earth valley) at the 8th generation Bosman Family Vineyards. They have been on the land since 1798 working the vineyards founded by a Huguenot in 1699.
For the uninitiated orange wine isn’t made of citrus. It describes the colour of the wine which is caused by skin contact with the grapes. The grapes are fermented for 4 weeks on skins before basket pressing and storing in new Russian Oak.
If you’ve never tried an orange wine before it may surprise you. It’s quite alcoholic and very dry to the mouth with an aroma that may remind you of a sherry or muscat.
It’s a wine that’s perfect for food.
These are delicious savoury wines from Bosman Wines
Bosman skin contact
The skin contact pinot gris is made in a similar way to the orange wine with de-stemmed grapes left on skins for 5 days before fermentation.
This wine isn’t your average rosé. In my experience the rosés of South Africa (with a few exceptions) are sweet, boring and mass market.
This skin-contact wine is a savoury wine. My partner says it reminds her a tiny bit of fanta. I say Irn Bru. Just hint of.
It’s got an apple peel-like mouth feel from the skin contact. It is definitely a wine for food.
Bosman Family Vineyards
Wine: Bosman Family Vineyards Fides Grenache Blanc
Wine: Bosman Family Vineyards Skin Contact Pinot Gris
Minimal intervention. Skin contact.
Price: Available online. Fides R195/R175.50 members; Skin Contact Pinot Gris R135 only available to club members
Also try the Bosman Twyfeling Cinsault and the Nero d”avola.
I’m personally keen to try Bosman’s new pét-nats. Pétillant-naturel are sparkling wines made using the méthode ancestral, something of a rarity in South Africa.
New to South Africa, I’m exploring the diversity of wine in the country at one bottle a week. English by birth, I’ve spent the last 20 years in Australia writing about food and drink for daily newspapers, glossy magazines and my blog, founded in 2005.
I now live in Johannesburg and am educating myself on all the amazing, new, interesting and avant-garde wines available in this country.
Note: I endeavour to pay for all wines myself and I practice ethical blogging.
Also published on Medium.