Italy is considered to be the cradle of modern day Pinot Grigio, even if Alsace may claim a longer patrimony with the grape. In fact it’s not all that common to find Alsace Pinot Gris. It’s a wine you really have to hunt down, even though it is no way inferior to the Italian versions, so why then has Italian Pinot Grigio been so successful?

There are several reasons; one of the first and most important has been the sheer size of some of the biggest and most successful in Italy. Firms such as Cavit and Mezzacorona have been able to put their formidable marketing muscle behind the grape while at the same time keeping the costs down to a minimum. There are few regions that can produce the quality and quantity of wine that these two wineries consistently pump out each year. There is no doubt that this has played a huge role in the success of Pinot Grigio, but there’s more.

There is the crisp, easy character that has become the trademark of Italian Pinot Grigio. In fact, this style is the one much of the world is emulating, perhaps with the exception of Oregon which has definitely followed the Alsatian model, right down to nomenclature. In Oregon, Pinot Grigio generally goes by its French name: Pinot Gris.

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