Santa Margherita introduced Pinot Grigio in 1980, and has become one of America's favorite premium wines. Recently voted the most popular imported wine, red or white, in top restaurants for the 11th consecutive year (Wine & Spirits 4/06), Santa Margherita remains a favorite among wine enthusiasts for its crisp, ripe character and consistent quality.
Learn More About Pinot Gris/Grigio
Pinot Gris/Grigio (PEE-noh gree/GREE-jee-oh) While Pinot Grigio is in fact the same grape as Pinot Gris (just the Italian take on it), the differences of wine they create can be immense. Pinot Gris' most popular and successful region is Alsace, France, an area of the country that actually puts the name of the grape on the label. Pinot Grigio is the Italian version of the grape, known for its light, crisp acidity. But wines from other regions usually term their wine Pinot Gris or Grigio based on the wine's flavor profile.
Notable Facts Pinot Gris from Alsace creates rich, stone fruit-laden wines. They are perfumed and aromatic, and typically dry. It has round body and medium acidity. Take the grape a bit south to Italy, and it creates a very crisp, high-acid, citrus noted wine. Both are flavorful, but wine named Pinot Gris typically provides more body and rounder fruits while Pinot Grigio gives lighter-bodied, citrus fruits. Oregon and California are also growing the grape, Oregon having success with a more Alsacian style and California producing both. Winemakers often call the wine by the style they wish to replicate - for Italian style, look for Pinot Grigio, for the Alsacian style, look for Pinot Gris. In Alsace, Pinot Gris can also makes wine with some residual sugar. It's capable of creating delicious dessert wines in the region.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Alsace, Italy, Oregon, California
Common Descriptors: peach, pear, floral, citrus
Learn More About Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
(tren-TEE-noe ahl-toe ah-DEE-jay)
The area consists of the regions Trentino and Alto Adige, neighbors in Northeast Italy, and is part of the Tre-Venezie trifecta. The northernmost region of Italy is fairly hilly due its closeness to the the Alps, and many vines in Trentino are terraced along the hillsides for ideal sunlight benefits. Alto Adige, in turn, has more vines on the valley floors, but enjoys warmer summers. White and sparkling are the name of the game here in quality and exports, although oddly enough, more red wine is produced. The majority of this red wine is drunk locally and in neighboring countries.
Reds are likely to be Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, along with a few local varieties, most notably Schiaval. The white grapes are Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Traminer and Chardonnay. Chardonnay is the most-planted and most revered, while Traminer hails from Austria and has an amazingly light body, but is also intensely floral and delicious. Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio are the international players that make lively whites of good value. The sweet spot of Trentino Alto-Adige is Vino Santo- a wine not to be confused with Tuscany's Vin Santo. Vino Santo (which means holy wine) is a sweet wine of the area made from dried grapes. Not found as much as Vin Santo, but still a treat.