Established as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) in 1975, Alto Adige is home to a unique group of grapes such as Lagrein, Schiava and Chardonnay. But Pinot Grigio rules in this Northern Italian appellation.
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are in fact the same grape. Gris in French and grigio in Italian, both translate to gray. Which is fitting because this sibling of Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc is neither white nor black, but has more of a pinkish-gray skin color. While the grape doesn’t possess enough pigment to produce a red, when left on its skins long enough, a pale-pink wine might be the end result.
Alto Adige is home to constant sunny weather and high-elevation Alpine vineyards where this grape thrives. Bottles from this region tend to be crisp, light-bodied, have prominent citrus aromas and go great with a variety of dishes.
Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige
Elena Walch 2017 Vigna Castel Ringberg Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $28, 93 points. Structured and elegant, this Pinot Grigio shows enviable class and pedigree. It opens with delicate scents of white spring flowers, ripe pears and a whiff of dried Alpine herbs while the round, polished palate delivers creamy apple, honeydew and white almond. Fresh acidity lifts the rich flavors, while a tangy mineral note suggesting saline lingers on the close. USA Wine West. Editors’ Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe
Cantina Kurtatsch 2018 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $18, 92 points. Here’s a fantastic expression of Pinot Grigio that opens with enticing scents of spring wildflowers, white stone fruit and an inviting whiff of freshly baked bread. Savory and medium bodied, the rounded palate offers ripe green apple, yellow pear and lemon zest alongside a tangy mineral note. North Berkeley Imports. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano 2018 Anger Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $23, 92 points. White spring flower, honeydew melon and yellow stone-fruit aromas lead the way on this savory white. The creamy full-bodied palate also shows elegance and freshness, offering yellow apple, ripe peach, lemon drop and mineral before a white-almond finish. Tangy acidity brightens the rich flavors. Winebow. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Erste Neue 2018 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $21, 90 points. This fragrant, savory wine opens with aromas of white stone fruit, yellow wildflower and a whiff of hazelnut. It’s medium bodied and juicy, doling out ripe Bartlett pear and creamy apple alongside a tangy mineral note. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced. T. Edward Wines Ltd. —K.O.
Nals Margreid 2017 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $23, 90 points. This has enticing aromas of fragrant spring blossom and ripe white stone fruit. It’s creamy and enveloping, doling out mature yellow pear, Rennet apple and lemon drop before a white-almond finish. Massanois Imports. —K.O.
Alois Lageder 2018 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $16, 89 points. White stone fruit, almond and a whiff of pressed Spanish broom shape the delicate nose. The fresh, rounded palate doles out ripe apple, white peach and a hint of citrus before a juicy close. Dalla Terra Winery Direct. —K.O.
Cantina Valle Isarco 2017 Aristos Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $26, 89 points. Graphite, grilled herb and mature yellow pear aromas come together in the glass. Reflecting the nose, the rounded, medium-bodied palate offers ripe golden apple, white peach and a tangy saline note. Fresh acidity lifts the finish. —K.O.
Muri-Gries 2018 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $15, 89 points. Aromas of white stone fruits and white spring flowers lead the nose. Reflecting the aromas, the juicy, tangy palate doles out yellow pear, Rennet apple and a mineral note evoking crushed oyster shell. Polaner Selections. —K.O.
St. Pauls 2018 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $22, 89 points. White stone fruits, spring wildflowers and a whiff of wild herbs shape the nose. The rounded, medium-bodied palate offers ripe green apple, honeydew and a hint of lemon zest alongside fresh acidity. Ethica Wines. —K.O.
Cantina Tramin 2018 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $19, 88 points. Delicate scents evoking ripe apple, hazelnut and honeysuckle come together on this. It’s fresh and polished, offering creamy yellow pear, nectarine and lemon flavors. LLS–Winebow. —K.O.