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Pinot Grigio has earned a reputation as a light, flavorless white wine. My pal lately told me a story that completely illustrates that reputation. Her pal, who when confronted with a wine list lacking wines familiar to her, orders Pinot Grigio simply because at least she knows what it will taste like. Water. Not precisely an enthusiastic endorsement of the assortment. 

Northern Italy has been the supply of substantially of the colorless and flavorless Pinot Grigio referenced above, but not all Pinot Grigio from northern Italy falls into this category. We have two Pinot Grigios to share with you now that challenge that sterotype. They may possibly disappoint my friend’s pal, but I’m specific they will not disappoint you. We received each as tasting samples.

Pinot Grigio the Grape

  • Skin colour of Pinot Grigio is variable — from pink-purple to almost as dark as Pinot Noir.
  • Pinot Gris buds and ripens early generating tiny clusters and tiny berries with potentially higher sugar levels and low to moderate acidity.
  • In cooler climates Pinot Gris final results in wines with citrusy flavors and in warmer climates the flavors have a tendency much more toward stone fruits.
  • Pinot Gris came to Italy by way of Piemonte in the early nineteenth century but, according to Robinson et al., may possibly currently have been cultivated in Valle d’Aosta just before that time.

Pinot Grigio the Wine

2017 Terlato Vineyards Pinot Grigio, Friuli Colli Orientali DOC

2017 Terlato Vineyards Pinot Grigio, Friuli Colli Orientali DOCpale yellow in the glass with aromas of green pears and melons. The flavors adhere to the aromas with pear and melon along with dusty gravel, citrusy acidity and a hint of cedar. 13% abv. SRP $23.99

The blend of fruit flavors and dusty, gravelly minerality are extremely attractive in this wine. It is effortless sipping, but seriously comes alive with meals. We paired this wine with roasted halibut, a divine pairing. The minerality of this wine was enhanced by the flavors of the roasted halibut, which integrated onion, carrots, celery, herbs and crushed tomatoes.

Friuli Colli Orientali is situated in the northeast corner of Italy. Here  Terlato tends to make Pinot Grigio from hillside estate vineyards. R6 Clone Pinot Grigio is selected simply because it produces wines with fruity character, very good acidity and very good aging prospective. 20 to 45-year-old vines are planted in low-vigor soils that are comprised of marl and schist.

Yield in the vineyard is kept low, three tons per acre, and hand harvesting more than many passes in the vineyard final results in completely ripe Pinot Grigio. Fermentation requires location in stainless steel devoid of malolactic fermentation. The wine spends six to eight months on the lees with weekly stirring for texture.

2016 Peter Zemmer Riserva “Giatl” Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige DOC
2016 Peter Zemmer Riserva “Giatl” Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige DOC

2016 Peter Zemmer Riserva  “Giatl” Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige DOCmedium yellow in the glass with aromas of ripe pears, white flowers and baking spice all of which adhere to into the flavor profile as properly along with oat hay, gravelly minerality and juicy, citrusy acidity. This Pinot Grigio has a bit much more weight than most. The finish incorporates citrus pith and is extremely lengthy lasting. 14.five% abv. SRP $38

If ever a Pinot Grigio could be known as contemplative this is it. The flavors and weight in the mouth combine in a most pleasing way. I sipped this wine as I ready the roasted halibut dish mention above and then tasted it with our meal. I preferred sipping this wine on its personal, not that it wasn’t scrumptious with the meal, I just preferred not to be distracted by the flavors of the dish.

Peter Zemmer Reserve “Giatl” Pinot Grigio is a wine, and a winery, with a story. The winery was founded in 1928 by Peter Zemmer in the tiny village of Cortina in the lowlands of Alto Adige. Peter’s nephew, Helmut Zemmer, assumed duty for winemaking just after Peter’s untimely death. Now, Peter Zemmer is in the in a position hands of the subsequent Peter Zemmer, Helmut’s son.

Giatl (pronounced ghee-AT-ul), which suggests tiny house or tiny vineyard in the nearby dialect, pays homage to the specific vineyard web site on which the Pinot Grigio grows. The elevated outcropping covers 24 acres and is largely owned or managed by the Zemmer loved ones. Grapes are harvested from only the greatest six acres planted in complicated soils of sand, stones and chalk. 

Winemaking starts with brief cold maceration to improve fruit flavors, followed by pressing and organic settling. Fermentation requires location in tiny French oak casks as does aging. This wine drinks beautifully now, but it is anticipated to continue to evolve in the bottle for six to eight years. 

I hope these two wines demonstrate that Pinot Grigio needn’t be a flavorless, watery wine. When Pinot Grigio is grown in the correct soils, yield in the vineyard is cautiously managed and care is taken in winemaking, an fascinating and scrumptious Pinot Grigio can be the outcome. I wouldn’t hesitate to order either of these wines from a wine list. And not simply because I anticipate either of them to taste like water.

Cheers!