The grape takes its name from the Italian ‘pecora’ meaning sheep because the vines grew along the route the shepherds took as they brought the sheep down from the mountains in central Italy (or so the story goes!).
Continuing their pioneering role in alternative varieties, winemakers Ian & Suzanne Little have produced one of the first Pecorino wines in Australia. They chose to grow it here in the Hunter Valley for its ability to hold flavour and acid during the warmer ripening months of December and January. It is also a variety that has a lower demand for water which makes it a more sustainable option than many other white varieties.
WINEMAKING notes from Ian & Suzanne: This is the first year we have made Pecorino and we wanted to see the fruit’s natural flavour characteristics, so we kept things very simple. All the fruit was hand harvested and the juice removed from the skins as soon as possible. The juice was clarified, racked and inoculated with a neutral yeast and fermented in stainless steel at around 14 degrees. We left the finished wine on lees for approximately 10 weeks to give it a little more texture then racked and bottled the wine in early June.
We love this variety for its delicious crisp crunchy palate and its delicate pear and pink lady apple flavours. The wine shows complex minerality with a lovely aromatic crispness that make it appealing as a young wine and indicates an ability to age for further complexity.