St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio 2020
This uncomplicated aperitif wine is often drunk at trendy parties and scene events. Combines perfectly with baked curd praline on tomato carpaccio.
For well over 2000 years, the area of South Tyrol has been fruitful for the cultivation of quality grapes in a unique Alpine environment. Within the heart is the village of Eppan where the St. Michael Eppan winery is located and has been producing some of the region's finest wines since its humble beginnings in 1908.
At the helm is Hans Terzer, who works closely with 330 individual growers to protect the quality of grapes that go into each of his wines. Many of these small growers only farm a hectare or two of vines and often maintain apple trees and vegetable gardens of their own. With the knowledge of Hans and the meticulous care of each grower the Eppan wines have gained tremendous notoriety since the late 1970s. Each passing vintage the Gambero Rosso awards its highest honor ‘Tre Bicchieri’ to numerous wines from this special winery. In particular they are highly recognized for the prestige of their Sanct Valentin line because of its premium fruit selection and prolonged barrel aging.
Since 1977 Hans Terzer has been the cellar's winemaker. He is one of the most important winemakers in Italy. In 1997 he was awarded by Gambero Rosso as one of the ten best winemakers in the world and for over 20 years he has been president of the association of the "Kellermeister" of South Tyrol. Over the years he has managed to convince members to adopt a rigorous quality-based philosophy over the years. This road has not always been easy, but with a lot of creativity, a good instinct and a lot of pride, he finally managed to make San Michele what it is today: one of the best wineries in Italy.
Thanks to the creativity of Hans Terzer, the San Michele Appiano winery has also carried out pioneering work, starting among the first in South Tyrol to make wine in barriques. But it is not enough, because he does not lack ideas for improvement. In fact, never rest on your laurels. So Hans Terzer's motto remains: "There is still a lot to do. We have to improve the quality, to get where we want: to the top of the world!"
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.