Article by Alessandra Riccitelli
Pinot Grigio owes its etymology to France: “Pin” means “pine” in French, and this name was given to it because of the similarity between the bunch of grapes and the pine cone, it is made up of very small berries that are close together.
Considered to all intents and purposes an international grape variety, Pinot Grigio boasts important cultivation in France, where it originated, namely in Alsace, Burgundy and the Champagne region, north-east of Paris, but also in geographical areas as diverse as Germany, Hungary, Australia and New Zealand, to name but a few.
In Italy, Pinot Grigio is mainly cultivated in the north-eastern regions, i.e. Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, where a specific denomination of controlled origin has been created for this wine, called “Pinot Grigio delle Venezie doc”. The cultivation of these grapes is also widespread in other regions of Italy, but to a lesser extent than in the above-mentioned regions.
A bit of history
All information and ampelographic studies report the descent of Pinot grigio from Pinot nero, i.e. one of the most widespread and well-known red grapes in the world. The origin of the vine is French, in fact, according to some historical documents, it was from France that the trade in this wine began, later spreading to Hungary and Germany, under the name of “Ruländer”. A few centuries later, towards the end of the 19th century, Pinot arrived in Italy along with other French varieties, and was planted mainly in the northern regions. It is well known that Pinot Grigio grapes prefer cold and constant climates, they suffer from sudden changes in temperature and heat, therefore we can define it as a vine that is difficult to cultivate, and we can understand why it is cultivated mainly in the northern areas of Europe, where the climate lends itself better to its processing.
The taste of Pinot Grigio differs depending on the area of production and the method of vinification. In particularly cold areas, the wine will have more body and structure, as well as greater freshness and flavour, while in warmer areas with less temperature fluctuations, it will be more fruity and full-bodied. If vinified in contact with the skins, the colour of the wine will take on coppery tones, otherwise its appearance will be lighter and clearer on the yellow scale.
In the Torri Cantine collections, you can find Pinot Grigio in “Bag in tube”, exclusive in its refined and elegant packaging, convenient and versatile to use for trips out of town or more simply at home, using the practical measuring tap to pour it directly into the glass.
Pinot Grigio is a wine that is pleasant to drink and has a pale straw yellow colour, crystal clear, bright and lively. The nose reveals floral aromas of broom, jasmine and wild flowers, fruity flavours of white peach, sweet melon and fresh almond, as well as suggesting a slight minerality. The taste is fresh and savoury, well-balanced and soft with a light almond note accompanying the finish and medium persistence played above all on warm notes.
Food and wine pairings
Particularly versatile, Pinot Grigio is to be considered a wine for the whole meal, excellent from the aperitif onwards, as an accompaniment to hors d’oeuvres based on cured meats or seafood, it is ideal with first courses of fish or with vegetable-based sauces, with cheeses, with eggs or in combination with white meat or fried food.
Pinot Grigio is particularly popular in the USA, so much so that, during the lockdown, it became the domestic wine of many American families who ate their meals at home. This is demonstrated by an increase in consumption during the pandemic of between 15% and 30% in the American market.
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