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.
Fruit grown on Fiona’s own 16.5 hectare Turner Home Block Vineyard was blended with fruit from the neighbouring McKee vineyard in the Blind River sub-region of the Awatere Valley. Each vineyard was carefully monitored during ripening so it could be harvested at optimum maturity in cool conditions.
2017 was a challenging vintage for wine growers as conditions were wetter and cooler than usual. This reduced yields by approximately 9% compared to 2016. It also pushed harvest dates back for all varieties. The final wines are more restrained on the nose and the palate but still display distinctive varietal characteristics.
After harvest, the fruit was quickly transported to the winery for immediate pressing, with minimal skin contact to avoid juice deterioration. Once settled, the clear juice was cool fermented in stainless steel using an aromatic yeast to help tease out the delicate flavours, and to retain the fresh fruit characteristics and underlying spicy notes. The two parcels were then blended and prepared for bottling under screwcap.
Fragrant aromas of spice, pear and stone fruit mix with underlying notes of brioche and freshly cut spring flowers. This wine is medium bodied and textured with flavours of ripe pear and white peach and a touch of spicy nutmeg - all characteristics that are synonymous with Pinot Gris grown in the Blind River sub-region of Marlborough. This wine has beautifully ripe fruit flavours and is silky with good palate weight. The finish is both succulent and lingering.