The fact of the birth of dry white wine Pinot Grigio (Pinot Grigio) is amazing. The grape variety of the same name for its production is not a wild plant that has passed into the skilled hands of a person, and not the result of selection, but a real mutation of Pinot Noir berries.
The strange variety did not have a green skin, like other white varieties. The gray-blue surface of the grapes served as the occasion for the name, which is translated from French as "gray cone". This raw material, which is completely unusual for white wines, became the mother of the now famous drink. Pinot Grigio is a storehouse of interesting information about which we will tell you in our article.
While most people believe that the Pinot Grigio grape was born in Italy, it was actually first discovered in France. There he is called Pinot Gris. The wine itself was made in Burgundy, from where in the 14th century it immigrated to other countries.
Berries Pinot Gris settled in northern Italy. They acquired the Italian sound, getting the name Grigio. The most successful new drink was in the regions: Lombardy (Lombardia), Veneto (Veneto), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-Alto Adige).
Vineyards have firmly gained ground in a suitable climate in the northern part of the country, and a new drink won the hearts of the inhabitants of the whole republic. But today the Italian market does not strongly require the sale of Pinot Grigio.
Therefore, 80% of the bottles are exported to the United States, Britain, China and Japan, where demand is constantly growing.
Pinot Grigio is a dry white wine with an average alcohol content of about 11%. The color of the drink varies depending on the methods used for winemaking. For example, if the final fermentation took place without contact with the skin, the wine is bright and clean. If the producers used the method of fermentation of wort together with grapes, then the output will be a drink of almost copper color.
The main part of the vineyards is located in only 3 regions of the country: Veneto, Friuli and Trentino. Their total area is approximately 21800 ha.
Varieties of taste characteristics
Unlike other wines, different Pinot Grigio do not have approximately the same taste characteristics. There are 3 styles of wines from the "gray" grapes:
- Mineral and dry;
- Fruit and dry;
- Fruit and sweet.
Mineral and dry species - this is the most common in the northern part of Italy. Stainless steel vats are used for its aging. Oak barrels are never used. Malolactic fermentation is not carried out. Fragrance with notes of lemon, lime and apples. The alcohol content of 10-12.5%.
A fruity and dry appearance is characteristic of the areas of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Abruzzo, Sicily and Lazio. Known for aromatic notes of lemon, yellow apple and white peach. This type of drink has a less intense acidity and a more "fat", textured taste. After the main fermentation, some manufacturers add microorganisms to the wine, which process acid, making Pinot softer. The process is called malolactic fermentation. Withstand fruit-dry wines, both in stainless vats and in oak barrels (but not in new ones).
Fruit-sweet varieties of Pinot Grigio produce only in French Alsace. Such drinks are characterized by the taste of lemon sweets with honey apples.
You will be surprised, but the network is also a pink version of the "gray" wine. It is obtained by maceration of grape juice with skins for 24-36 hours. This version can be found in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It is called Ramato. Depending on the manufacturer, the taste of pink Pinot has notes of white raspberries, sour cherries, and dried cranberries in the aftertaste.
In addition, there are wineries that experiment with the taste of the drink, long keeping it in wooden barrels.
Varieties by territory of production
Different regions of Italy differ from each other not only in climatic conditions, but also in soil composition. This significantly affects the taste and aroma of grapes. On the bottles of Pinot Grigio in the title there are words indicating the area of production.
The following list of the most popular varieties will help you decide on the best drink for yourself:
- Collio (COLLIO) - the hilly territory of the province of Gorizia (Gorizia). The soil consists of clay marl, alternating with sandy layers. The wine is obtained with a full structure, high in alcohol, aromatically complex. Such drinks are assigned the DOC category.
- Isonzo (ISONZO) - the flat territory of Gorizia, which runs in the valley of the Isonzo River. The soils are rocky, more or less calcareous. From here comes the mineral and very juicy Pinot. Izonzo wines are also classified as DOC.
- Friuli Grave (FRIULI GRAVE) - a wide area stretching from the foothills of the Alps to the sea. The soil is rich in minerals, the climate is cool with a large difference in day and night temperatures. Local Pinot Grigio is endowed with excellent minerality and high aromaticity. Drinks awarded the DOC quality mark.
- Veneto Orientale (VENETO ORIENTALE) - the territory of eastern Veneto. Here, clay soils are saturated with salts and very fertile. The wines are powerful with a simple aroma, but pleasant to drink. Such variants of Pinot Grigio are classified as IGT.
- Veronese (VERONESE) - the area of the commune of Soave (Soave)where the earth is of volcanic origin and is rich in inorganic substances. It gives us aromatic, complex, elegant wines. Like the previous view, such drinks have the IGT quality mark.
- Trentino (TRENTINO) - The province of Bolzano (Bolzano). The climate here is characterized by large fluctuations in temperature during the day and night. Fresh drinks with a rich bouquet of aromas come from this area. For their high level of quality, Pinot Grizzi Trentino are awarded the DOC category.
In fact, there are much more Pino subspecies endowed with quality marks. For example, you should pay attention to Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT. This is a fragrant drink of yellow color with a greenish tint. It has a scent with notes of acacia flowers and hints of pear. It is harmonious, fresh, quite intense and easy to drink.
It is believed that Pinot Grigio is a wine of dubious quality. This is not at all true, although justification can be found for such thoughts. Today, there are a huge number of manufacturers of "gray" drink. Not all of them try to keep the quality of wine at the proper level.
Therefore, choosing your Grigio in the store, give preference to bottles with the designation of the category DOC or IGT.
How and with what to drink
The high level of acidity of Pinot Grigio creates a limitation on the timing of its use. Experts recommend drinking it for young people for no more than a year from the date of sale.
Wine is served chilled to 8-10 degrees, pouring into an almost ice-cold glass. The open bottle is stored in a dry, cool, dark place.
"Gray" wine is used as an aperitif. It goes well with fish appetizers, sea salads, seafood risotto. Napioc also accompanies with pasta seasoned with fried tomatoes, pasta with cheese sauce, mushroom dishes, white meat, cheeses and omelettes.
Price in Italy and in Russia
Buying a quality Pinot Grigio does not mean that you have to fork out. In Italy, the price for a bottle with an IGT or DOC category ranges from 5 to 15 Euros. At the same time, the most expensive options go on sale with an exposure of about 2 years.
In Russia, the variation in prices for Pinot Grigio is great. For example, if cheap wine costs about 400 rubles per bottle, then the most expensive options are estimated at almost 4000 rubles.
The article has come to an end, and now for you a little chest of facts about Pino Grigio. Live wisely, hurry to love, travel, dreaming, and remember that in the puzzle "We speak gray, we mean white?" just one answer. Guess which one?