Great Pinot Grigio

Where the Alto-Adige Rules!


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Great Pinot Grigio Yes, when it comes to Pinot Grigio, the golden stretch of the Adige Valley that sees Trentino transition into the Alto Adige still rules the roost. For wines that have depth, finesse and elegance, there's no beating the best examples from this region, though other regions can do almost as well if you're looking for a different style. I think it's more common to encounter a Pinoy Grigio from Veneto than from the Alto-Adige, and the reason for that is that those wines are, well, more common. They generally have less to offer and are priced accordingly, reflecting their generally heavy crop load and the savings mechanical harvesting allow.

Of course to generalize is to err, and there are some intriguing examples of Pinot Grigio coming from the Veneto, though they are generally more fruit-driven examples. Equally intriguing, albeit in a decidedly leaner, more mineral-driven style are the Grauburgunders from Austria. Consider that the Alto Adige was part of Austria as recently as 1918 and that may not be as surprising as it is on first glance. So take the time to get to know Pinot Grigio. There is a whole world of fine wines out there to be discovered and it is a shame to see such an enjoyable wine be tainted with the broad brush of generalization, even if the truth is that much, if not most, Pinot Grigio out there is rather insipid!

Photo courtesy noakakem via Flickr/CC

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  • One of my favorite Pinot Grgios is Jermann (pronounced something like yer mahn). It is not inexpensive. It runs around $30 but I found it on sale at Vintage Wine in Birmingham for $20 less 15% if bought by the case. This wine is multilayered and complex. But it is very smoothe with none of the sharp edges found in a majority of the typical Pinot Grigios. If you can find it I know you will like it.

    Sep 01, 2011 at 7:15 PM

  • At what point did Pinot Grigio start to colonise the space once occupied by Sauvignon Blanc as the default safety white? Make way for the great Pinot Grigio taste: a whiff of town gas, followed by about a second of citrus aftershave, ending with a 'long dry finish' as promised on the label, or rather, a blotting-paper sensation around the uvula. A lightly frustrating headache rounds things off, accompanied by an inability to understand why Pinot Grigio seems to have colonised so much of the space once occupied by Sauvignon Blanc - and so on and on at

    Sep 07, 2011 at 6:18 AM

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