With roots in Oregon’s central Willamette Valley, winemaker Mike Hinds had homage in mind when he decided to name his winemaking project. Fascinatingly, his great-great-great grandfather was Quebecois, a native of Montreal who in 1811 set out for Oregon where, among other things, he would succumb to the awe that washed over any “observer who loved the beauties of simple nature,” as in, fall deeply in love with the resplendence of America’s Pacific Northwest. His name was Gabriél Franchere. And so, nearly 200 years later, Mike Hinds tends grapevines on this same land. Starting out in retail among Chicago’s natural wine retail scene, Hinds moved back to Oregon, worked in the cellar at Illahe Vineyards, and started selling his first wines from his Franchere imprint in 2013. This cuvée (whose name bathes in irony) is his orange wine, a glorious macerated expression of pure (organic), Oregonian grapes.
Vinification: A co-fermented, orange wine whose constituent grapes break down as follows: 55% Pinot Gris, 36% Grüner Veltliner, 9% Pinot Blanc. The grapes are hand-harvested, macerated and fermented over the course of 10 days in an open-top fermenter at which point (measured at 10 brix) they are pressed using a basket press into a combination of neutral french oak barrique and stainless steel where fermentation is completed to 0RS and full malolactic fermentation is also allowed to occur over the course of 5 months. Unfined, unfiltered, with no additional SO2. 11.8%ABV
Tasting Notes: A cloudy, medium-bodied orange. The color of a ruby red grapefruit in the glass. Smells like rose, raspberry and citrus fruits. Tastes like a carton of fresh raspberries bought from the fruit stand on the side of road, sprinkled with sea salt and dried lavender. Drink cold, as an apertivo, or alongside a pizza from Ops and a big bowl of bitter greens.