FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Alto Adige Pinot Grigio

by Eunice Fried

Jan 1, 2018
January 2018

FAME CAN BE FICKLE. And the more famous something becomes, the more likely its true nature is lost. Take Pinot Grigio, for example. Born in France centuries ago as the brownish pink-skinned Pinot Gris grape, it crossed the border into Italy. There renamed Pinot Grigio, by the turn of this century it had become the most popular white wine in that country and, soon, Italy’s most popular imported white wine in the United States.

Through the years, however, as more Italian wine drinkers discovered Pinot Grigio’s charms and its popularity grew, many more wineries began to plant the grape and make huge quantities of the wine. Soon the market was flooded with simple, light-style Pinot Grigio, much of it devoid of the characteristics and beauty of the original.

Still, within this glut of inexpensive Pinot Grigio, a few wine regions in Italy — notably mountainous northeastern Alto Adige, where Pinot Grigio grows well — have allowed the grape to express its true nature. Alto Adige Pinot Grigio emphasizes the wine’s finest points as few other Italian versions do.

Here are three excellent examples of Alto Adige Pinot Grigio.

Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2016 ($15) is a crisp, rich wine with an aroma reminiscent of a garden of flowers in bloom. Add the flavors of citrus fruits and fine balance, and it makes an excellent buy.

Elena Walch Pinot Grigio Vigna Castel Ringberg 2015 ($25) offers another elegant example of the grape. With a clear aroma of peach, vibrant acidity and a balanced complexity, it stands out as a high-quality Pinot Grigio.

Unterebner Pinot Grigio 2015 ($26) is aged on the lees in large oak casks for at least a half year, adding to its distinctive character. Richer than many, with a clear vanilla flavor and an especially long finish, Unterebner presents a bright acidity and intricate composition. A wine of finesse.

When to enjoy Alto Adige Pinot Grigio? Pour it as the perfect aperitif. Serve it with before-dinner dips; with poultry, shellfish and other fish dishes; and with white and light meat dishes. Alto Adige Pinot Grigio rises far above ordinary.

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