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Pinot Grigio

Popular zesty white wine from Italy with refreshing tart fruit flavors.

With a sea of watery Pinot Grigio flooding the shelves of wine stores, this versatile grape has been woefully misrepresented. Unlike the bulk wines found everywhere, a well-crafted Pinot Grigio bursts with citrus, green apple, and a touch of florals. Good acidity and a light body make it perfect to whet the appetite and it also fares well with seafood. Most Pinot Grigio comes from Italy’s northeast corner where winemakers produce simple, mouth-watering wines to fuller, complex styles.

Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino in northeast Italy produce most of Italy’s Pinot Grigio and this popular grape appears in a range of styles. A bottle from an area known as the Veneto plains is a refreshing, easy-drinking crowd pleaser but not as interesting as the superior styles from further north and northeast. For Pinot Grigio that’s a cut above, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Alto-Adige offer fresh yet full-bodied styles with rich tropical and stone fruit flavors. The former region is known for its Ramato Pinot Grigio, a wine that’s richly textured, fruity, and delicately sweet. Most vintners avoid using oak in Pinot Grigio production to allow the bright fruit aromas and flavors to take center stage.

Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio is one of Pinot Noir’s many descendants. In wine-speak they’re called ‘mutations’, and they’re a good thing!

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