Orgia is an ongoing experiment in enlightenment.
An Enlightened Wine
Orgia is a trip. A bright, vibrant wine with the initial impression of a white and the gravitas of a red. The wine has a beautiful copper hue gleaned from skin contact during fermentation. The aroma is effusive with a wonderful medley of orange blossom, honey, crisp apple, and tea. The aroma follows through on the palate with the added impression of saltiness that implies this wine would be incredible with seafood. The tannin from the skin contact is apparent and lends the wine a mineral weightiness with incredible depth and length that just keeps going furthur, suggesting this wine will age gracefully for generations.
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Orgia is an ongoing experiment in enlightenment.
Looking back to see the road ahead!
The big yellow school bus door opened, spilling the crackling sounds of AM radio onto the street. Screaming kids didn’t dare compete with the slew of subversive, yet thrilling, songs on rotation that spring day in 1968. The airwaves were awash with songs the likes of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” (“One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small,”) Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” or the Beatles’ lightly disguised hallucinogenic ode, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” These songs did a better job reigning in the kids than any authoritarian school bus monitor could’ve imagined.
I was too young to be a hippie but, with an unjust war still raging in Southeast Asia, I was swept up in the emotional tide that was the ‘60s. We all believed that if we acted as one, we, the youth, could change the world. After all, there were a lot of us… if we could only vote, we could show them the way.
It seems appropriate that a few years earlier, Ken Kesey rode around in an old school bus named Furthur with his band of Merry Pranksters. Not much different than us kids on our way to grammar school, except the Pranksters not only had rock ’n roll, they had sex and drugs… and were guided by the belief that by breaking the rules, they would find a new truth, one without hypocrisy. Instead of a school house, they had an old farm turned commune and instead of lessons taught in a classroom, they conducted live social experiments in the form of confrontational performance art. The Pranksters challenged the general public to engage or react — some observers shed the shackles of conformity and joined in while others were repulsed or threatened by their antics. Mr. Kesey was the head “teacher” who adapted lessons gleaned from his time as a lab rat for the government (Kesey was a volunteer for mind control drug experiments in the late ‘50s). He combined these with the teachings of his mentor, Timothy Leary, who maintained a belief that through drug-induced enlightenment, we, as a species, could evolve to the next plane — an awakening of sorts.
Kesey was not only a famous writer, but a mountain man at heart who embraced a self-reliant, back-to-nature ethos, free of societal norms and artificial restrictions. Though his libertarian point of view was fueled by LSD, he saw marijuana as a practical solution to many of Earth’s problems. He claimed his brother learned to laminate hemp to create a better fiber board for home construction and, in longer and thicker fabrications, hemp could replace fir posts and beams. He was practical, yet he was a joker who refused to grow up.
Kesey’s friend Leary was an impractical dreamer (some would say visionary) who believed we needed to evolve or die. Leary felt it was our destiny to leave the planet and seek the next frontier. As different as the two men were, they both shared the belief that you must always embrace the creative force of the inner child. Leary considered an adult to be the past participle of the verb “to grow” — in Leary’s mind, an adult is someone who has stopped growing. In his “Stand-up Lectures” of later years, Leary would end with the plea “I am going to advocate, I’m going to urge you, I’m going to beg you, I’m going to appeal to you ... at all costs, avoid terminal adulthood.”
The hippie dream died a slow, agonizing death as the “Just Say No” Reagan revolution was followed by the double Bush (with Clinton filling) era. They all continued the popular War on Drugs that turned many peacenik hippie farmers into gun-toting survivalists as greed-fueled, organized crime and militaristic law enforcement waged war on the once-utopian fantasy.
‘Cause the tie-dye sails
Are the screamin’ sheets
And the dusty trail
Leads to blood in the streets
And the wooden ships
Are a hippie dream
Capsized in excess
If you know what I mean.
Just because it’s over for you
Don’t mean it’s over for me
It’s a victory for the heart
Every time the music starts…
— Hippie Dream by Neil Young
Tonight, as you cook a meal, love the one you’re with and open a bottle of Orgia. Then take a vow that you will, at all cost, avoid terminal adulthood. Perhaps the dream didn’t die — it evolved.
Along Comes Orgia...
If the color isn’t scintillating enough, then the savory, salty, steely flavors — lifted by a kiss of stone fruit and white flower aromas — will seduce you. Orgia’s brilliant core of mouth-watering acidity and lip-smacking texture sends Orgia into the “one of a kind “ arena to make an awesome partner to seafood, rich meats, and fragrant vegetables. It has a particular affinity for saffron and tomato and won’t shy away from uni… that is, if you happen to have some in your fridge. If you choose to follow its lead, Orgia will take you on the path less traveled to new culinary adventures.
Until the Next Wine....
Orgia is an ongoing experiment in enlightenment. Wine is mostly about aroma and flavor, but what if the tactile or textural qualities were just as important? Orgia, being made from Pinot Gris grown in RSV’s organically farmed Three Amigos Vineyard, is about the most exciting wine you can put in your mouth.
Pinot Gris is an odd grape. In the vineyards, it looks like a rusty grape with a grayish, reddish-brown tint. Yet if you press it off the skins before fermentation, it will make a clean, bright, almost colorless white wine. But if you allow the grapes to ferment on their skins, the wine takes on a copper color (Italians call it “ramato”) and extracts some tannin from the skins to lend the wine texture and age-worthiness.
Optimally ripened Pinot Gris is night harvested by hand, destemmed, and then fermented on the skins. Winemaker Jeff Virnig uses several different techniques to naturally extract color and texture from the grapes, yet all of the individual lots are allowed to ferment on native yeast.
The 2014 vintage was the third in a string of dry but stunningly beautiful vintages. The ’14 produced less fruit than the two prior, with smaller berries and thicker skins, for an even more intense mouth feel.