Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige is not what you’re expecting. Yes, it’s fresh and zesty, but there’s more power, structure, and flavor from this grape than you’ve seen before.
What Does Alto Adige Pinot Grigio Taste Like?
Pinot Grigio is a bit like a chameleon, it changes a lot depending on its environment. You might know Pinot Grigio as a light bodied, zesty, dry white wine with lemon and apple fruit flavors. You might also know Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris, as a fuller bodied wine, with a hint of sweetness and ripe tropical fruit flavors.
In Alto Adige, we’re somewhere between those two styles, and most of the wines are dry. You’ll find fruit flavors of ripe peach, nectarine, lemon peel, and honeysuckle, along with spicier flavors of ginger, cloves and a saline edge. The wines are full-bodied, elegant, and fresh.
Many of the wines are quite textured. They feel like they have tannins, which can make it seem like you’re tasting bitter almonds. This freshness, power, and texture make many of these wines excellent for food pairing.
What foods work with Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Grigio works with many different dishes due to its blend of freshness, texture, and heady aromatics.
Knödel (savory dumplings), a local Alto Adige dish, pairs well. Pinot Grigio also works with roasted chicken, and meaty seafoods, like grilled octopus. If you’re a vegetarian then try pairing roasted squash or chanterelles with these powerful wines.
Where to look for Great Pinot Grigio
If you like lighter, fresher styles then look for Pinot Grigio from the cool Valle Isarco or grapes grown at high altitudes.
Pinot Grigio is the most planted variety in Alto Adige, so no matter where you look you’re bound to find something great from this grape.
Some helpful tips for finding your Pinot Grigio:
- Excellent quality Pinot Grigio is also made in the main DOC, labelled Alto Adige.
- Pinot Grigio can be labelled as Grauburgunder or Ruländer.
- Pinot Grigio has pinkish skins, so sometimes the wines might have a slightly copper color.
- There are some single vineyards known for producing excellent Pinot Grigio: