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Lagaria Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2000
The appellation's green, rolling hills, at the feet of the imposing Dolomitic mountain range in northeastern Italy, are ideally situated for viticulture. The cool temperatures and night/day, winter/summer temperature extremes, endow local wines, both red and white, with a particular freshness and a strong backbone of acidity. Because of Trentino's historical position as a crossroads between Italy and the German and Eastern European cultures, grape varieties are diverse, and comprise both the indigenous and the international.
Lagaria was named after the region's stunning Val Lagarina: a kaleidoscope of color and light crowned by the severe peaks of the Dolomites. This beautiful natural setting was also the inspiration for the exclusive label, specially designed by Maria Gemma Empson.
All three wines are 100% varietals from vineyards ranging in altitude from 250 to 500 meters above sea level. The fine terrain and exposure, together with state-of-the-art equipment and classic vinification, are conducive to exemplary, yet appealingly accessible varietals.
In fact, the Empsons' objective in creating Lagaria, was to offer customers a price-conscious product that did not allow for any compromise in terms of quality - in other words, simply unbelievable value for money.
A large and diverse wine region in northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to a vast array of different styles of wine. With no defining regional characteristics, it can be a bit confusing to the general consumer to parse through its many subzones, but the patient wine lover will find many treasures to be discovered here, typically at wallet-friendly prices. Red and white wines are produced here, with more emphasis on the latter, as well as the ultra-popular sparkling wine Prosecco. The region is sheltered from harsh northern European winters by the Alps, which form its northern border, but the climate is still relatively cool, making the Veneto ideal for white wine production.
Much of Italy’s Pinot Grigio hails from the Veneto, where it can range from neutral and inoffensive to crisp and refreshing. Soave, made primarily from the Garganega grape, has a reputation for producing relatively ordinary, bulk wines, but can be very elegant when yields are carefully monitored, with aromas of lemon, almond, and white flowers. Valpolicella is the region’s best-known red wine, with juicy, tart red cherry flavors derived from the Corvina grape. Recioto and Amarone wines made from dried grapes are a regional specialty and can be very intense, heady, and cerebral.
One grape variety with two very distinct personas, Pinot Gris in France is rich, round, and aromatic, while Pinot Grigio in Italy is simple, crisp, and refreshing. In Italy, Pinot Grigio is grown in the mountainous regions of Trentino, Friuli, and Alto Adige in the northeast. In France it reaches its apex in Alsace. Pinots both “Gris” and “Grigio” are produced successfully in Oregon's Willamette Valley as well as parts of California, and are widely planted throughout central and eastern Europe.
In the Glass
Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity, so full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear, and almond skin. Alsatian styles are aromatic, richly textured and often relatively high in alcohol. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is much more subdued, light, simple, and easy to drink.
Alsace is renowned for its potent food–pork, foie gras, and charcuterie. With its viscous nature, Pinot Gris fits in harmoniously with these heavy hitters. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works better with simple salads, a wide range of seafood, and subtle chicken dishes.
Outside of France and Italy, the decision by the producer whether to label as “Gris” or “Grigio” serves as a strong indicator as to the style of wine in the bottle—the former will typically be a richer, more serious rendition while the latter will be bright, fresh, and fun.