Pinot Grigio is a fairly misunderstood grape in America owing to the many watered down, mass-produced versions that have infiltrated our grocery stores and chain restaurants since the 1980’s. While the grape has unfortunately become synonymous with simplicity, this lovely, expressive style from Cantina Valle Isarco in Alto Adige is far from bland. The grapes for this wine were delicately crushed, and then fermented on lees in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, which resulted ixn an exciting and vibrant white wine.
Due to its proximity to the Austrian border, Cantina Valle Isarco also carries the German name “Eisacktaler Kellerei”. Founded in 1961, it is considered one of Italy’s most prestigious co-operatives and currently has 130 members from 11 municipalities in Varna, Bressanone, Funes/Tiso, Velturno, Chiusa, Laion, Castelrotto, Villandro, Barbiano, Fié and Renon. The vineyards, which span 346 acres in total are located in the northernmost winegrowing zone of Trentino-Alto Adige or Südtirol (South Tyrol, in German), on the southern side of the Alps. This picturesque region boasts majestic mountains interspersed with quaint Alpine farmhouses, castles, monasteries, little villages and terraced vineyards enclosed within neat low stone walls. Situated on fairly steep slopes that range in elevation from 1300-1950 ft., the vineyards are planted to Sylvaner, Müller Thurgau, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Kerner, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Riesling for the whites. Reds include Schiava, Klausner-Laitacher, Pinot Nero, Lagrein and Zweigelt.. Despite its Alpine location, Trentino-Alto Adige enjoys a very warm summer climate with cool evenings, resulting in grapes that mature with a high sugar content. The light and gravelly soils are mineral-rich, yielding wines of elegance and complexity.
This Pinot Grigio is bright golden in color, and has a pretty nose that exudes fresh, floral notes of jasmine, bruised pear and pineapple. The palate is light in body and full of character showing tropical notes of starfruit, lemon rind, and blanched almond. It has a lovely wet stone texture that complements the vibrant fruit and bracing acidity, and a mouthwatering finish. Deliciously quenching!