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Details for Channing Daughters, Pinot Grigio


CountryUnited States
Region
AppellationLong Island AVA
Grape
Pinot Grigio / Gris
(click to find out more)
Year2013
Producer
Channing Daughters
(click to find out more)
ABV12.5%


New York

New York produces more wine than any other state in the USA except California.  Yet few outsiders realise it makes wine at all, let alone more than well-known regions like Oregon or Washington.
 
The main reason is that more than 90% of it is not made from vitis vinifera grapes, but from native species such as vitis labrusca or from hybrids between the two.  Labrusca wine has a distinctive taste traditionally (and mystifyingly) described as ‘foxy’ which tends to put off drinkers used to vinifera wines.  The other reason is that New York’s vast and thirsty population consume it all, and a great deal of imported wine besides.
 
The largest grape-growing region is the Lake Eyrie AVA (American Viticultural Area) which extends along the south shore of the lake into Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Few of its grapes are made into wine, however, being destined for jams and jellies.  Most of the bottles that do get produced are made from French-American hybrid grapes that cope well with the cool climate but don’t make great wine. 
 
The Finger Lakes AVA, around the shores of deep glacial lakes in the west-central area, is also largely planted with hybrids but has much more of a focus on wine.  Increasingly vinifera vines are being planted to make Chablis-style unoaked Chardonnay and dry, age-worthy Riesling.
 
The Long Island AVA is newer and smaller, but is planted entirely with vinifera vines.  The maritime influence here means that the growing season is much longer than inland.  This allows the ripening of Bordeaux varieties although the cool climate means that white wines dominate here too, along with some fine sparkling wine.
 


Channing Daughters

New York venture capitalist and noted sculptor Walter Channing planted chardonnay vines in an old potato patch on his estate in the Hamptons (the South Fork of Long Island’s east end) in 1982, producing his first wine (19 cases, shared with friends) five years later.  By the mid-Nineties his hobby had grown into a commercial winery, named after his four daughters.
 
Today it is one of just three noted producers in the Hamptons, with 28 acres of vines.  These are supplemented by an equal quantity of grapes bought in from selected vineyards in the more agricultural North Fork, home to most of Long Island’s vines and wineries.
 
The estate has a reputation for experimentation, producing around 35 different wines from more than two dozen grape varieties.  Six different dry rosés are made, along with a range of orange wines - whites fermented on the skins, leading to noticeable tannin levels.
 

about this wine About this wine


My writeup for Channing’s Rosato di Cabernet Franc gave the background on winemaking in New York State and Long Island in particular, and on Channing Daughters’s place in it.  So rather than repeat that here I recommend you follow this link and read the About this wine  section until it starts talking about rosé.  Fear not – it’s quite short!
 
Channing may be rosé specialists, but this Pinot Grigio is conventionally white, unlike that unusual skin contact rosé from Australia that we featured in February.  Not that Channing’s winemaker Christopher Tracy is averse to skin contact; he also makes a ramato  Pinot Grigio, an “orange” wine that is fermented on the skins just like a red.  Sadly that one is made in such tiny quantities that it doesn’t get exported.  Even with this, their “volume” Pinot Grigio, only 333 cases were made in this vintage – Channing is very much a boutique producer.
 
The fruit for this wine comes from Channing’s own home farm at Bridgehampton in Long Island’s South Fork and from the respected Mudd West vineyard in the North Fork.  The grapes were hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed before being fermented in a mix of stainless steel (64%) and older, neutral oak barrels (36%).  It was aged on its lees in stainless steel tanks for 11 months with minimal handling (no bâtonnage) before being bottled by gravity on August 4th, 2014.
 


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