New flavours – Horner Wines releases Hunter’s first Pineau

In a Hunter first, Horner Wines, owned and run by Ash and Lauren Horner, have released a red and a white Pineau. Fortified like a sherry or port, Ash enthusiastically explained that Pineau is the little-known sibling to cognac, from the same western region of France.

La Belle Vie Pineau has been named in an homage to its origins, it translates as “beautiful life” in French. Horner follows the French appellation rules, blending unfermented grape juice with one-year old brandy, then aging it in oak for 12 months.

The La Belle Vie Blanc Pineau is made with Hunter Viognier and a touch of Verdelho. It has lovely floral aromas followed by a smooth, honeyed palate with hazelnut, nougat and a citrus lift. The grape juice lends a natural sweetness, and the acidity provides the perfect foil to create a deliciously fresh and balanced drop.

The La Belle Vie Rouge Pineau is a riot of red summer fruits with raspberry, cherries, strawberries and pomegranate. It’s deliciously moreish.

Whilst Pineau is traditionally a pre-dinner apéritif, it’s also incredibly versatile in cocktails. Horner have created a take home recipe card with their favourites: the Honey Bee, a refreshing spritzer, and Palmers Pash which has the Rouge Pineau blended with gin. The Pineaus are available online or at their cellar door.

Since launching three years ago, Horner Wines have expanded their range of organic, small batch alternate varieties. The cellar door has a homely inviting charm, perfect for one of their tasting experiences along with a choice of snacks from their menu.