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Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2001
Culinary suggestions: Excellent as an aperitif, ideal accompaniment to seafood salads and fish- and shellfish-based pasta and rice courses. Perfect with white meats and boiled or grilled fish and with soufflés.
When you hear “Santa Margherita,” you probably think of their iconic Pinot Grigio. While they are proud to have led an entire generation of Italian white wines with this inspiring and much-loved favorite, there’s a lot more to their story. Santa Margherita represents the best of tradition, innovation, a passion for authentic and enjoyable wines, and respect for the people and the lands that produces them.
Over 80 years ago, Count Gaetano Marzotto led the revitalization of an abandoned portion of the Venetian countryside. Here, where rivers from the alps cut through the sun-drenched hills on their winding way to the Mediterranean shore, he created much-needed farmlands and restored traditional wine-making in what had been a region of fine vineyards since the time of the Roman Empire. Employing new agricultural science and a commitment to the needs of the Italian people, Marzotto gave this labor of love the name of his dear wife Margherita, and the first piece in the mosaic of Santa Margherita was set.
Since then, Santa Margherita has grown to encompass vineyards across Italy, from the Veneto to Tuscany, producing distinctive, authentic wines of deep tradition and regional character. Their wines are crafted for the evolving tastes of today’s fine wine lovers, and they invite you to pair the people and foods in your life with the Pinot Grigio they made famous, their brilliant Prosecco, their complex Chianti Classico Riserva or their delicate Sparkling Rosé.
They hold their entire organization to the highest levels of social responsibility and environmental sustainability while remaining committed to their Italian heritage. As they continue to thrive and expand, the truest measure of their success is being welcomed and enjoyed by you, today.
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.