Friday, August 28, 2020

Delle Venezie DOC Unites To Promote Italian Pinot Grigio

Delle Venezie DOC, an Italian wine region devoted especially to Pinot Grigio is boosting awareness and sales worldwide.

Delle Venezie DOC Pinot Grigio

Global Pinot Grigio Boss

To say Italy is pretty good at Pinot Grigio is a vast understatement. Italy is the number one country for Pinot Grigio production and boasts more than 40% of the world’s Pinot Grigio acreage.

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Pinot Grigio is Italy’s top exported Italian grape variety. Ninety-six percent of its Pinot Grigio is exported. Can you guess who is the biggest customer? Yes, it is the US.

A complex and versatile grape, Pinot Grigio was found in the Venetian area at the end of the 1800s. It’s an area with winemaking roots that date back to the 7th century BC.

Unifying Italian Pinot Grigio

While Pinot Grigio can be found across Italy, 85% of production comes from the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Veneto and the province of Trento. In 2017 producers came together and DOC delle Venezie was established.

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In Italy a DOC represents a region where a set of regulations ensures the quality from a particular region. It is a step up from an IGT wine, which is a wine with geographic indication, and a significant upgrade from table wine. The three areas united under the DOC encompass more than 63,000 acres of vines.

We recently attended a webinar hosted by Consorzio DOC delle Venezie as part of the Wine Media Conference. It was an opportunity to taste and learn about premium Italian Pinot Grigio. We were guided through a tasting of Venezie Pinot Grigio by Laura Donadoni, a sommelier and authority on Italian wine.

“Pinot Grigio has really been underestimated,” said Donadoni. “The quality has greatly improved.” Going forward DOC delle Venezie will be the region that carries the banner for Italian Pinot Grigio.

The average temperature during growing season is 57 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. She notes that the region, which includes the foothills of the Italian Alps, features acidity and complexity lacking in Pinot Grigio from warmer climates.

A Sparkling Surprise

We tasted two bottles of Venezie Pinot Grigio: the 2018 Cupcake Pinot Grigio and the Bolla Pinot Grigio Spumante. I had seen Cupcake on the store shelves and always assumed this was a California brand. I was only half right. Although the winery is located in Lodi, its Pinot Grigio is made with grapes from Venezie.

The Cupcake shattered my preconceptions and was quite delicious with crisp notes of pear and lemon. The acidity lingered and begged me to pour another glass, which I did.

Bolla is an Italian winery with a far-reaching tradition. It was one of the first wineries from the region to become recognized in the US and was championed by Frank Sinatra. Bolla also stakes a claim as the first winery to market Amarone and brands its top-tier Amarone as Le Origini.

The Bolla bottle was a surprise as I don’t recall trying a sparkling Pinot Grigio before. The bubbles tickle and are celebratory, but don’t last very long. I kept recharging the glasses to keep the fizz going. The flavor is fresh and bright apple with a touch of citrus. This could make a good substitute for Prosecco. Both wines can be found for under $10, making them quite a value.

It’s time to revisit Italian Pinot Grigio and drink in the refreshing notes of DOC della Venezie.

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