Le Vigne di Zamo Pinot Grigio Ramato 2021
A "winter rosé," deep, almost pinkish, onionskin color typical of Pinot Grigio from Friuli. The nose reveals a powerful floral note, with a touch of tropical fruits in the end. Shades of clay and gypsum typical of the terroir are also present. It tastes full bodied and fresh with a great structure given by the maceration that matches very well with the acidity and salinity in the aftertaste.
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Le Vigne di Zamò is a family owned winery located in Manzano (UD) in one of the most renewed winemaking areas of Friuli Venezia Giulia, North East of Italy, close to Venice and Trieste and on the border with Slovenia.
The two brothers Pierluigi and Silvano have inherited the estate from their father Tullio, and together with Brigitte, SIlvano’s wife, have made Le Vigne di Zamò one of the greatest names of the area and the first winery from Friuli to win the "Tre Bicchieri del Gambero Rosso" award for a red wine, Ronco dei Roseti, back in 1988. In fact, besides the traditional white varieties that dominate the hills of Friuli Colli Orientali, such as Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio, Le Vigne di Zamò is one of the few wineries of this area with 40% of the production focused on red indigenous varieties, some of them very rare, such as Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Schioppettino.
In 2021, Le Vigne di Zamò has also completed the restoring of the old winery house, that is now an elegant "agriturismo" (guesthouse) where tourists can enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the iconic taste of the wines in a familiar atmosphere.
2021 harvest has been the first organic certified harvest for the winery, that has always been focused on sustainability both in the vineyards and the cellar.
Viticulture has thrived in Colli Orientali del Friuli since the reign of ancient Rome and today its verdant, rolling hills support a long list of autochthonous varieties, each playing a unique and important role in the modern Colli Orientali wine scene.
The region is primarily recognized for its white wines. Its indigenous varieties of Ribolla Gialla, Verduzzo, Picolit and perhaps most importantly, Friulano are made into single varietal wines or blended, and often blended with the international varieties of Sauvignon blanc, Pinot grigio and Pinot bianco. The latter have been flourishing in the area since the 1800s. But it wasn’t until the 1970s when producers started using cold fermentation techniques to produce fresh, fruity, crisp and aromatic whites that this area began to attract international attention.
While reds only make up about a third of the area under vine, Colli Orientali is home to some of Italy’s most exciting and rare red wines. Refosco, Schioppettino, Tazzelenghe and Pignolo are among the autochthonous varieties while Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir also have a stronghold.
Colli Orientali holds much in common with its neighbor, Collio; the only thing dividing them is a political line. Both are influenced by the cooling effects of the Julian Alps and moderated by the Adriatic Sea. A unique soil of alternating marine layers called flysch also dominates Colli Orientali, providing a mineral-rich environment for vine roots and optimal water drainage.
Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot Noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot Grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot Gris wine. California produces both styles with success.
Where Does Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio Come From?
Pinot Gris is originally from France, and it is technically not a variety but a clone of Pinot Noir. In Italy it’s called Pinot Grigio (Italian for gray), and it is widely planted in northern and NE Italy. Pinot Gris is also grown around the globe, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand. No matter where it’s made or what it’s called, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio produces many exciting styles.
Tasting Notes for Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is a dry, white wine naturally low in acidity. Pinot Grigio wines showcase signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are refreshing, expressive, aromatic (think rose and honey), smooth, full-bodied and richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to their Italian counterpart. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often light and charming. The focus here is usually to produce a crisp, refreshing, lighter style of wine. While there are regional differences of Pinot Grigio, the typical profile includes lemon, lime and subtle minerality.
Pinot Grigio Food Pairings
The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.
Given the pinkish color of its berries and aromatic potential if cared for to fully ripen, the Pinot Grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.