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Jefferson Pinot Gris 2004

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Virginia
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    Winemaker Notes

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    Jefferson

    Jefferson Vineyards

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    Jefferson Vineyards, Virginia
    In 1774, Thomas Jefferson convinced an Italian winemaker, Filippo Mazzei, to move onto land adjoining Jefferson's home, Monticello, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. At Jefferson's urging, Mazzei agreed to grow European vinifera wines, and he soon produced two barrels of wine from six of the best varieties of wild grapes. Upon sampling his creation, Mazzei was very pleased with Virginia's grapes and soil. He found Virginia land to be superior to that of Italy: "In my opinion, when the country is populated in proportion to its extent, the best wine in the world will be made here...I do not believe that nature is so favorable to growing vines in any country as this."

    In 1981, on the same land that Mazzei first planted his vines, Jefferson Vineyards was established, fulfilling a vision conceived some 200 years earlier. Today, Jefferson Vineyards produces numerous award-winning wines on 650 acres of historic land high atop the Monticello Appelation.

    Virginia

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    Diversity of landscape, terrain and climate make Virginia one of the most exciting American wine producing states today. Its viticultural history reaches as far back as 1607 when early settlers made the first wine from indigenous American grapes.

    Thomas Jefferson imported the first French varieties to Virginia and grew the Vitis vinifera species (the European species), though not with great success.

    Today, however, increased knowledge and optimal vineyard management techniques bring prosperity with a great number of diverse varieties. Virginia’s varied landscape has created seven distinct AVAs (American Viticultural Areas).

    Encouraged by an enthusiastic state government, fine wine production in Virginia continues to flourish. The state achieves success with a variety of wine types and styles including sparkling wines, Bordeaux Blends, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Viognier and less common whites like Petit Manseng and Vermentino.

    Pinot Gris/Grigio

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    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.

    Perfect 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 lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    CNC308834_2004 Item# 84232