With the title quote from Van Gogh, you could be mistaken that I have taken up painting this summer. While many people, from Winston Churchill to Sylvester Stallone, calmed frayed nerves with hours at the easel, my passion, as you all know, is the continual search for great wine. However, Van Gogh’s quote also rings true in the wine world. For, there is not just orange wine, which is made from white wine grapes fermented with skins (and the subject of this week’s email), and yellow wine or Vin Jeaune (a late harvest wine from the Jura region), but there is also blue wine, first conceived in Spain, with the founders claiming the tint comes from natural extracts in the grape skins-- something some of us find a little hard to swallow as well as the wine!
Photo: Pasion Blue Chardonnay from Spain (courtesy of socialvignerons.com)
This week, we are excited to share a fantastic orange wine we discovered by the rock star Austrian producer Stefan Wellenschitz at Kolfok.
Kolfok Intra! The Wild 2020 ($24) is a beautiful golden-colour with the typical haziness of an unfiltered wine. Dry with notes of bright citrus and stone fruit, this natural wine gave me the tingles straight out of the gate. It reminds me of a scrumptious, mouthwatering wild cider, yet with more sophistication.
The translation of Kolfok is ‘unconventional mind,’ and that’s exactly what we love about Stefan. He had the courage to step outside his family’s traditional wine business to focus on making natural and biodynamic wines. While many natural winemakers end up with very rustic-tasting wines, Stefan strived to create a wine of great finesse with minimal intervention. His solution was to take a page out of the book of the Beaujolais and Burgundian winemakers who use whole cluster fermentation to extract more elegant flavors.
We had a glass of the Intra! The Wild with fresh oysters, followed by a halibut ceviche, full of tangy onions and capers, and it was wonderful with the crisp, dry wine. You could also sip this on a warm summer evening with friends around a plate of cheese.