Let’s start with an assumption: all Pinot are genetic mutations of Pinot Noir, the undisputed king of vines in terms of prestige, the only one allowed in the production of Burgundy reds, the most appreciated by collectors today, above all the labels produced by the mythical Romaine de la Romenée-Conti, but always recognized as the most elegant wines in the world. The name “pinot” apparently derives from “pigna,” and would mean precisely “small pinecone,” both for the modest size of the bunch, and for the arrangement of its berries, which precisely recall the scales of a pine cone.
Pinot Grigio is a very peculiar vine. Giving wines a coppery color, it is often vinified in white, but if vinified in contact with the skins, it becomes coppery, and it is generally less acclaimed, at least on certain aspects, than its white or black counterpart. Its diffusion, however, has paved the way for the production of great fruity, fragrant and well-structured wines, finding variations which enhance acidity in Trentino and Alto Adige (and therefore lends itself to longer maturation), particularly rich in the Collio and in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, but it has also given appreciable results in Tuscany. Outside of Italy, it is vinified in Alsace in contact with the skins and is known as Pinot Gris (formerly Tokay Pinot Gris or Tokay d’Alsace), an internationally acclaimed wine known for its great quality, as Wikipedia reminds us.
Returning to Italy, it was a real commercial phenomenon, especially in the USA, where it has been for many years, and in part it is still, one of the most “fashionable” wines, even before Prosecco, thanks to the boom of the Santa Margherita, more sold in the USA than in Italy. As we have seen, this success brought Pinot Grigio out of the Veneto region, even though it is here that one of the largest and most lively denominations on the market was born in 2016, the Pinot Grigio delle Venezie Doc. In general terms, the colour in the glass varies from straw yellow to golden, and finally to amber/copper. The scent is delicate, pleasantly fruity. In the mouth it is dry, fresh, rather alcoholic, balanced and harmonious.