Quantum of Solaris

Winnica TurnauSolaris – 2016 – TBA – Grape Opportunities – Cellar Door

Due to a rather peculiar quirk of nature, and sheer ignorance, it seems that Poland is often overlooked as a producer of quality wines. This comes as a surprise given the work ethic of the populous often associated with this most enticing of Eastern European destinations.

Poland as I’m sure you are aware shares a great many things with England – not least a desire to create a name for itself in the wine industry. Interestingly, it seems that just like England, prejudice and polarised views have helped create a negative and frankly false impression of what can be achieved in terms of wine production.

Wine requires but a few things to be produced; – Climate, Grape Variety, the Mystical Terroir and the care and attention of the winemaker. Jerzy Turnau, founding father and passionate ecologist was exactly this man. After him followed Zbigniew Turnau. Zbigniew possessed the land, and the terroir, he was joined by cousins Gregorz, Tomasz and Jacek, who together realised a dream, which with the addition of renowned winemaker Frank Faust from Rhineland, created Turnau Vineyard in 2010. Consisting of 28 hectares producing mainly Solaris and Johanniter vines, Winnica Turnau is blossoming.

I was fortunate to be introduced to Just a Quick Slurp of the flagship wine Solaris by a good friend who very much like the founders, cares passionately about all things natural, and is keen to promote the excellence of her home nation.

Solaris is a more recent grape variety, created in 1975 in Freiburg, Germany by Norbert Becker. A cross between Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat Ottonel, Zaraya Severa and Seyval Blanc it’s a perfect grape for the cooler northern European climate.

Solaris produces wines which are striking in several ways. To the eye this wine is akin to spun gold, bright and enticing. On the nose, it’s aromatic – notes of peach and pineapple are apparent with apple, citrus and gooseberry. On the Palate, this wine is graceful and balanced, the acidity levels are high delivering a refreshing zing, the citrus and the green apple are dominant, but the peach and pineapple sit happily on a lengthy finish giving a subtle sweetness. This wine is perfect match for chicken and fish dishes, the added sweetness making this wonderful as an aperitif and an excellent alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.

So, this weekend why not pour yourself a glass, sit back and delight in the fact that Poland is bang on trend. Like many things, it’s a surprise to learn that great wine can come from the most unlikely of places. And, very much like Frederic Chopin – another Polish export, can create a pure concerto of joy. Bon Santé



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