Pinot Grigio Victoria
Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Grapes: Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the Pinot Gris grape variety. The style in which Pinot Grigio is typically made is so distinctive that Gris and Grigio are typically treated as different varieties (even if they do have identical DNA). The international marketing behind Pinot Grigio is so strong that for many consumers, its name is more recognizable than the original, Pinot Gris.
The Italian style has been successfully adopted in the United States, and to a lesser extent Australia, where some wineries produce both a Pinot Grigio and a Pinot Gris, in contrasting styles. Bottles labelled Pinot Grigio in Australia will be crisp and dry whereas wines labelled Pinot Gris will show richer and weightier aromas.
‘Light’, ‘crisp’ and ‘dry’ are the key descriptors used when talking about Pinot Grigio wines. Flavours of lemon, green apple and blossom may be noted in them, along with less distinguishable notes.
The Grigio style is achieved by harvesting the grapes relatively early, which helps to retain the variety’s naturally high acidity. Fermentation most often occurs in stainless-steel tanks to keep the wine fresh and ready for consumption soon after harvest. (If they were aged in barrels, this would add palate weight and vanilla aromas, detracting significantly from the fresh, zingy Pinot Grigio style.) Some sparkling wines are made from Pinot Grigio, and in Italy the grape is blended with various other white varieties.
The northeast of Italy remains the key Pinot Grigio producer and exporter, with the most notable examples being found in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and the Trentino-Alto Adige.