Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2018
The wine is dry with intense aromas and appealing flavors of Golden Delicious apples and citrus with a long, multi-layered finish. Excellent as an aperitif and with a medium body that makes it versatile to pair with everything from salads to chicken or grilled fish. Wonderful pairing ideas include butter lettuce with apples, walnuts and pomegranate seeds, pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula, scallops with tarragon cream, or tagliatelle with Italian olive oil, lemon zest and pine nuts.
In 1935 Count Gaetano Marzotto led the revitalization of a 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 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 techniques and a commitment to the needs of the Italian people, Count Marzotto gave this labor of love the name of his dear wife Margherita. The illustration on the label is the historical Marzotto home, Villa Marzotto; which was subsequently donated back to the town of Portogruaro, about an hour outside of Venice. Steeped in a history of making Prosecco as far back as 1952, Santa Margherita gained its iconic status after 1961, when it was among the first Italian wineries to vinify Pinot Grigio as a monovarietal, and off the copper-colored skins; thereby enhancing the freshness of the fruit and bringing out the wine’s enormous versatility. Since then, Santa Margherita has grown to encompass vineyards across Italy, from 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 moments, people and food in your life with the Pinot Grigio they made famous, their brilliant Prosecco, their complex Chianti Classico Riserva or their delicate Sparkling Rosé.? At Santa Margherita, they’re wine people; they are passionate about wine because they are passionate about people and the extraordinary experiences they live. What defines an extraordinary experience? It can be as simple as watching the sun set from your favorite chair as you unwind after a long day, as fulfilling as a great afternoon with friends that lasts well into the evening, and as unforgettable as the first time you locked eyes and realized it was going to be forever. These experiences define the joy of your life, and the wine you choose should live up to them. Their rich heritage rooted in quality winemaking is what makes Santa Margherita the wine worthy of every memorable experience. Why settle for anything less?
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes grow in every region throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean. Naturally, most Italian regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a notable coastline, if not coastline on all borders, as is the case with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
The Alps in the northern regions of Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Alto Adige as examples, create favorable conditions for cool-climate varieties, while the Apennine Mountains, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south, affect climate, grape variety and harvest periods throughout. Considering its variable terrain and conditions, it's still safe to say that most high quality viticulture in Italy takes place on picturesque hillsides.
Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but are declining in popularity, especially as younger growers take interest in reviving local varieties. Most important are Sangiovese, reaching its greatest potential in Tuscany and Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont, producing single varietal, age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Corvina, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course the whites, Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano. The list goes on.
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.