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Riff Pinot Grigio 2002

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Critical Acclaim

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    Riff
    Riff, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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    This top value Pinot Grigio reflects the expertise of acclaimed winegrower Alois Lageder, and the wines he selected from vineyard sources in the "Tre Venezie" (Alto Adige, Trentino and Veneto) - acknowledged as one of Italy's prime regions for quality white wines.

    A fourth generation winery owner and winemaker in Alto Adige, Alois Lageder's long-standing credibility with wine growers gives him access to some of the region's best Pinot Grigio wines for this special selection.

    Alois Lageder carefully selects the wines on-site; they are sur lie-matured in stainless steel tanks, then blended and bottled at his Lšwengang winemaking facilities. riff Pinot Grigio reflects the origin of its prime growing area in style and character, and demonstrates all the varietal's best characteristics: good structure and intensity on the palate, balanced with lively acidity.

    Most vineyards in the region are located on the slopes of the foothills of the Dolomites, a part of the Alps that dictate the climate and bless the region with some of the most prized alluvial soils. These soils are composed of dolomite, a limestone made of fossil deposits of an ancient ocean that covered this region 4.6 million years ago. The name riff (German for reef), thus refers to the Dolomite's geologic origin.

    The vineyard sources for most of this Pinot Grigio contain a substantial amount of dolomite limestone which has an obvious impact on the wine's character and style. It is because of the contribution that these fossils (limestone) make to the wine's character that they have been chosen to be incorporated into the label design as a reminder of its geological origin.

    Trentino-Alto Adige

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    A mountainous northern Italian region heavily influenced by German culture, Trentino-Alto Adige is actually made up of two separate but similar regions: Alto Adige and Trentino.

    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.

    Dominant red varieties include the bold, herbaceous Lagrein and delicate, strawberry-kissed, Schiava, in addition to some Pinot Nero.

    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.

    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 on its name as well as two generally distinct styles. Pinot Gris in France is rich, round and aromas of honey, while Pinot grigio in Italy is typically crisp, fruity and refreshing. 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 someof the world's most well-regarded Pinot gris. California produces both styles.

    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.

    Perfect Pairings

    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.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    CNC696775_2002 Item# 74161