This was our third Orange Muscat from this vineyard. The vines were planted in 1992 at Hog Canyon Orchards in the Paso Robles viticultural area. In order to get the high sugar I wanted in these grapes, we had to let them raisin a great deal (botrytis is rare in Paso).
The berries were crushed and allowed to soak on the skins 48 hours to plump up the raisins and maximize flavors from skin contact. The pressed and clarified juice went through a long, cold, fermentation and was stopped at approximately 9B with chilling and filtration.
Prior to bottling, 0.5 g/l of malic acid was added to achieve a good balance between acid and sugar.
This wine continues to surprise tasters at the winery, many of whom have never tried an Orange Muscat, or those that tell me that they don’t care for sweet wines. Invariably they buy a bottle or two. With 8% R.S and crisp acidity and effusive fruit and floral aromas, this wine strikes a perfect balance.
The wine was bottled in April of 2001. The dessert wine took its first ribbon in Riverside one month after bottling. It recently won Best of Show in the dessert wine category at the San Francisco Bay Wine Competition.
The perfect pairing for this wine is creme brulee in an orange cup. Cheesecake or a lemon tart with pear butter is also a delicious match.
– Damian Chouinard, Winemaker