Patina’s Gerald Naef is a winemaker with a penchant for perfection and experimentation. He is constantly questioning his winemaking in order to keep creating better wines whilst ensuring that the wines are released having some maturation and showing the benefit of time.
Patina was established in 1999. “I purchased the property late in 1999 and contacted a local viticultural consultant to confirm the best layout and soil types for the vineyard and was informed that it was too late in the year, that I couldn’t get the vineyard planted in time and I should leave it until 2000,” explained owner and winemaker Gerald Naef.
“I had never let such reasonable words of wisdom prevent me from doing something unreasonable in the past, so I forged ahead and by the end of October I had planted Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Having caved into passion I began plotting my new direction in life.
“I continued to purchase some grapes and made my first Pinot Noir in 2003 and Riesling in 2005. Seeing a lot of potential in these varieties I grafted some of my Merlot to Pinot Noir and Cabernet to Riesling in the spring of 2010.”
The 2018 Pinot Noir was picked at 3.4 pH with roughly one third of the grapes whole bunch, carbonic macerated for nine days before crushing. Fermented until dry, the wine was then pressed off skins and transferred to seasoned French oak barrels and matured for 14 months to add further character and structure to the palate.
“The birth of the Sticky Tea was a happy accident: A basket press was my one and only press in the early years. These presses are desirable in winemaking as they are gentle on the fruit and don’t extract many bitter phenolics. The drawback is they don’t extract all the juice. Since Riesling is notoriously stingy with its juice it always annoyed me to tip out the Riesling pressings knowing there was still up to 25% juice left.
“So, in 2009 I added yeast to the pressed skins not sure what would result… Tea leaf, honey and lemon notes dominated after a few days of ferment so I decided this could make a very interesting sticky/aperitif style with a bit of an iced tea slant. And a few years’ maturation has added a complementary minerality to this wine.”