Tinpot Hut wines are made primarily from fruit grown on winemaker Fiona Turner's vineyard in Blind River. Fiona, who has worked with Matt Thomson for a number of years, supplements her own grapes with fruit from other growers in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The tinpot hut that gave its name to Fiona's wines is an old mustering hut in the remote hills between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The huts were used as a base for musterers as they rounded up the sheep that had been in the hills from spring to autumn. The name links Marlborough's past as a sheep farming centre with its current state as one of the world's most dynamic wine regions.
Winemakers Matt Thomson and Fiona Turner were looking for a cool climate variety with striking aromatic qualities supported by firm acid structure to add to the Tinpot Hut range. They soon became convinced of the potential for Grüner Veltliner in Marlborough and convinced two local growers to plant a few rows. The grapes for this single vineyard wine were grown by the McKee family in the Blind River sub-region of the Awatere Valley.
The 2016 growing season was characterised by a dry spring and an unusually warm summer, which promoted vigourous vine growth. Techniques like shoot thinning and bunch removal were used to compensate for this growth and bring the yields into balance, allowing Tinpot Hut to harvest fruit which was intensely concentrated.
Fiona was aiming for an aromatic, fruit forward style with particular emphasis on managing the potentially hard phenolics. The grapes were hand-picked and immediately transported to the winery where they were treated gently with minimal skin contact. Precise press-cuts ensured that only the free run, less phenolic juice was used in the finished wine. After settling, the juice was fermented in stainless steel at cool temperatures to retain fruit character and freshness.
A delicate straw yellow, this wine displays elegant aromas of orange blossom, citrus and stone fruit blended with hints of sweet, floral honeysuckle. Flavours of white peach mingle well with subtle peppery spice notes. Mineral complexity, which is so reflective of the Blind River sub region, gives this wine a clean and crisp appeal. The balance of the fruit, acidity and phenolics work very well together and lead to a long dry finish.