Big Head Wines Chenin Blanc (750ml)
ConventionalMost products with this label come from producers who do their best to avoid any intervention at all but it’s possible that some of the aforementioned preventative measures and additions are deemed necessary. Learn More
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Andrzej Lipinski is the proprietor and head winemaker at Big Head Wines. He works with a small team, sourcing only the best fruit from the Niagara region, working closely with growers that share their attention to detail and pursuit of the highest quality. He has been crafting wine in Niagara for 20 years.
Andrzej Lipinski came to Canada from Poland in 1989. He was a mechanic by trade, and when he arrived worked on farms. Eventually he got a construction job at Vineland winery which later led to him getting a job in their cellar, helping the head winemaker. Andrzej took to winemaking easily, and within two years he’d become assistant winemaker. In 1998 he was allowed to make one wine of his own wines which resulted in winning a gold medal at a competition in Vinitaly. He gained further winemaking experience working for local wineries until he started making wines in 2011 under his own label Big Head. This was originally a virtual winery as the law at the time made it difficult to get a license without owning vines. Eventually he got a license and today Big Head produces their wines at Hunter Farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Together with their growers, the winemakers’ attention to detail has transformed Big Head into a fully-operational winery offering tastings seven days a week.
Note that Big Head wines is known for their use of “appassimento” (drying grapes after harvest). Though not all of their wines are made using this process, many of their wines achieve their signature “big style” by drying the grapes in tobacco kilns before pressing.
A hint of botrytis on the nose and lots of ripe fruit like apple and pear coupled with honey and a touch of fresh linen aromas. The palate offers a round and rich glycerol feel giving the impression of sweetness, though the wine is quite dry. Classic fresh Chenin Blanc acidity weaves through the palate with flavors of citrus and a bee’s wax. This Chenin Blanc has a lot going on and will develop wonderfully for years.
The grapes were hand harvested from Smith Vineyards in the Niagara Lakeshore appellation mid to late October. The wine undergoes carbonic fermentation for a week before pressing and alcoholic fermentation in a combination of clay and 1000L wood vessels. The wine goes through full malolactic fermentation spontaneously. The wine has a final 3.7g/L RS.
First had when visiting the winery. “You know why we called the winery “Big Head”?… Because we have big heads! Look!” Was how the tour began. The Chenin evokes a lot of things you get from Loire Chenin. Sort of a Saverniere light. It’s not just the novelty of a Niagara Chenin that makes this a worthy choice.