Kris Pinot Grigio 2017
Ironically, “grigio” means “gray” in Italian, which couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of KRIS, which is bursting with colorful aromas and flavors developed in high vineyards of the Veneto region. With enticing aromas of acacia flowers, lime, tangerine and hints of apricots and almonds, KRIS Pinot Grigio is bold but clean and refreshing on the palate, and offers a long finish tinged with orange blossom and honey.
KRIS wine is handcrafted in Alto Adige using grapes sourced from Italy’s most esteemed growing regions. The winery is located in the hillside town of Montagna, where culture is a unique reflection of Germanic heritage and Italian nationality. An ideal combination of traditional winemaking artistry and modern technology is used to blend each of the KRIS wines. The timeless and inspiring KRIS labels emphasize the role of the sun in ripening the grapes to perfection, the human hand in crafting the wine, and the lips that savor the wine. Riccardo Schweizer, a native of Alto Adige, studied cubism in Paris under Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. The original paintings were given by Schweizer to his friend, the KRIS winery’s founder for his birthday. KRIS Pinot Grigio IGT Delle Venezie takes full advantage of the “delle Venezie” designation by marrying the best fruit from the appellation’s three permitted regions. Veneto fruit provides the delicate floral notes and the classic almond finish. Grapes sourced from the southwest facing slopes of Montagna receive ample sun and contribute ripe, yet fresh, citrus and pear fruit. Soil from the Mulinat vineyards is gravely and well drained, which helps to limit yields and intensify flavor. KRIS Pinot Noir is carefully selected from hillside vineyards nestled among the Apennine foothills of the Otrepò Pavese region of Lombardy. These highly reputed vineyards offer many different microclimates of varying exposures and elevations which contribute to the distinctive component in the final blend. The KRIS winemakers focus on quality, low yield production methods and unique mastery of classic Alto-Adige grapes, which have gained them much acclaim.
The source of some of Italy’s best and most distinctive white wines, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is where Italian, Germanic and Slavic cultures converge. The styles of wines produced in this region of Italy's far north-east reflect this merging of cultures. Often shortened to just “Friuli,” the area is divided into many distinct subzones, including Friuli Grave, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Collio Goriziano and Carso. The flat valley of Friuli Grave is responsible for a large proportion of the region’s wine production, particularly the approachable Pinot grigio and the popular Prosecco. The best vineyard locations are often on hillsides, as in Colli Orientali del Friuli or Collio. In general, Friuli boasts an ideal climate for viticulture, with warm sunny days and chilly nights, which allow grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.
In Colli Orientali, the specialty is crisp, flavorful white wine made from indigenous varieities like Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Friulano), Ribolla gialla and Malvasia Istriana.
Red wines, though far less common here, can be quite good, especially when made from the deeply colored, rustic Refosco variety. In Collio Goriziano, which abutts Slovenia, many of the same varieties are planted. International varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc are also common, but they tend to be Loire-like in style with herbaceous character and mellow tannins. Carso’s star grape is the red Teranno, notable for being rich in iron content and historically consumed for health purposes. It has an earthy, meaty profile and is often confused with the distinct variety Refosco.
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.