An internationally renowned wine, perhaps more popular abroad than in Italy. Today is Pinot Grigio Day. A celebration totally unknown in Italy.
What are the main Italian grape varieties? Of course, is not easy to answer this question. In fact, we are talking about Italy, the country which counts most grape varieties in the world. To clarify, wine is produced all over the world, climate permitting, with about a hundred grape varieties. In Italy those vines are named international grapes. Also, Italy counts over seven hundred varieties registered as autochthonous. Each variety can give life to a wine, moreover, there are wines produced from blends, ie from the mix of different grapes. Therefore, it’s clear: thousands of wines are produced in Italy. A lifetime is not enough to try them all.
Italy: white or red wines?
Here at Gourmetaly, In the last ten years we have met thousands of people in our food and wine events. From all over the world but mainly from US. When asking them if Italy is more red or white, the answer was 50% white and 50% red. Both were right. Even if each single region is cultivating a prevalence of white or red grapes.
Grey grapes for Pinot Grigio.
However, along with white and red varieties, there is a gray grape variety. Pinot Grigio is a more popular variety abroad than in Italy itself. This vine from the north that is grown mainly in Valle d’Aosta and Trentino Alto-Adige. Pinot grigio is one of the symbolic wines of Italy, especially in US. Differently, very few people in Italy will point Pinot Grigio as the most important Italian wine. The great success of this wine abroad is due, of course to its taste. Likewise to a powerful marketing activity by some winemakers. From the Santa Margherita winery, for example, which from the sixties began to vinify in a different way. Eliminating the skins and thus avoiding the classic coppery color. Making the wine, more attractive for the market at that time.
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, the difference.
Pinot Grigio, Blanc, Noir and Gris all belong to the same Pinot family. These are therefore clones, genetically mutated over time, from Pinot Noir. The word Grigio may seem like a simple translation of the term Gris. On the contrary, we are talking about slightly different clones. Pinot Gris is less available and, therefore, it is more expensive. It is mainly produced in Germany and Alsace.
A very successful wine.
The characteristics of liveliness and roundness of the Pinot Grigio are the base of its success. The high-end ones go through aging, even in barrels, which mitigats the citrus and direct notes, enhancing their roundness and structure. The regions Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia are the biggest producers. But can be also found in different regions, with different characteristics.
Pinot Grigio from Italian regions
In Valle d’Aosta there is a remarkable version of Pinot Grigio: Vendemmia Tardiva (Late Harvest). Wine from vedemmia tardiva is produced with the grapes partially dried on the vine. with 13.5% alcohol, of which at least 10% carried out and minimum aging of 6 months. The wine therefore has a sweet taste. It is aged for at least two months and goes well with appetizers and cheeses.
In Sud Tirol Pinot Grigio is still, extra brut & brut sparkling or passito.
Pinot Grigio Riserva must age for at least two years. This wine is mature, generally around 12-18 months. It goes perfectly with appetizers, delicate first courses, sauces based on mushrooms, fish, eggs, and seafood. Terlaner Pinot Grigio is a sub-denomination of the DOC Terlano or Terlaner. It is one of the most beautiful expressions of Pinot Grigio in recent years. Straw yellow color, not too fragrant, but with a strong flavor and harmonious fullness of taste. They go perfectly with fish dishes, white meats, and appetizers. Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio is a sub-designation of the A.A Valle Isarco. Straw yellow in color, with great pleasantness and harmony. It goes well with appetizers, white meats, and fish.
Pinot Grigio from Veneto region.
Arcole Pinot Grigio. The color of the wine here varies from straw yellow to amber, sometimes with the typical coppery reflections. The scent is generally fruity, delicate. The taste is dry and harmonious goes well with aperitifs, appetizers, fish dishes. In the Breganze area the wine presents a straw yellow and golden yellow color, sometimes with rosy hues. The scent is very delicate. The taste is harmonious and velvety. Suitable for appetizers, soups and risottos, lake fish. Another interesting version is Montello and Colli Asolani. The color is straw yellow, sometimes coppery. Fruity nose and harmonious and round flavor that goes well with delicate pasta dishes. In the Veneto side of Lake Garda, Pinot Grigio is straw yellow, sometimes coppery. With a very pleasant scent and a full and harmonious taste sometimes sweetened. It goes well with appetizers of land and sea, baked fish.
Friuli Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio.
The Collio version is very interesting. Also produced in the Reserve version, subjected to two years of aging. This wine goes well in combination with appetizers of cold cuts and seafood with shellfish and boiled white meats. Friuli Grave Pinot Grigio Doc has a fruity nose and a dry and harmonious taste. It goes well with various dishes from appetizers to first to second courses, even tasty meats, and roasts. The Friuli Isonzo DOC is Pinot grigio in purity, yellow straw color with rosy reflections. Floral scent and dry and harmonious taste. It goes well with seafood risottos and risotto with mushrooms, fried fish. Also noteworthy are the denominations Colli orientali del Friuli and Friuli Annia.
Pinot Grigio from central Italy.
Also in Umbria it is possible to find Pinot Grigio, which gives life to Pinot grigio di Torgiano. Intense straw yellow color delicate and fruity aroma, a vital and fresh flavor. It goes well with fish dishes and seafood appetizers.
Pinot Grigio from Emilia region.
The DOC Emiliane are called Colli di Parma and Colli piacentini straw white or coppery, delicate aroma, fresh and fruity taste. Dry or sweet taste. It can also be sparkling or sparkling. It goes well with aperitifs, appetizers, soups, eggs, fish, soft cheeses.