Abbazia di Novacella Pinot Grigio 2011
The Augustinian Canons Regular monastery of Neustift is located in the northern-most winegrowing region on the southern side of the Alps. The mineral-rich soils, the elevation (1,970 ft – 2,950 ft) and the cool climate are all factors which explain the intense aromas and flavours as well as fruity, mouth-watering acidity found in our wines produced from the typical white Eisack Valley grape varieties. The long drawn-out ripening period extending well into the autumn is crucial. The most widely-grown vines in our vineyards around Vahrn just north of Brixen are Sylvaner, Kerner, Gewürztraminer and Veltliner.
The monastery also owns vineyards in the warm central region of South Tyrol which supply the red grapes. They include the full-bodied, savoury Lagrein from the Mariaheim vineyard in Bolzano/Bozen and red wines from the Marklhof estate in the cool rolling hills of Girlan to the south of Bolzano where the grapes are harvested, crushed and the wines matured. The wines include Vernatsch, Pinot Noir and the lusciously sweet Rosenmuskateller ('Rose Muscat', the name deriving from the variety's typical scent of roses).
With over 850 years of experience coupled with state-of-the-art winemaking technology, top-class expertise and the enormous enthusiasm the wines generate among our employees, we succeed in producing wines bursting with flavour and varietal character year after year, to the joy of wine-lovers worldwide.
Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.
The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.
The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot grigio in Italy is made here.
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.
In the Glass
Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity but full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to its Italian counterparts. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often much lighter, charming and fruit driven.
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 lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.
Given the color of its berries and aromatic and characterful potential if cared for as it is allowed 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.