We take a look at the nation’s favourite tipple, Pinot Grigio. Often labelled as boring and sometimes very basic at the lower-priced end of the scale, it remains the nation’s favourite white wine. Here’s a look at one of our Italian producers that are offering some enticing deals to create the memorable experience we all strive for.
If ever there was a time to treat yourself and your customers, surely, it’s now! With Christmas just around the corner, and it looks like it will be a very different one to what we are used to, now is the time to start thinking about what we can do to make it as special a time of year as we love and expect.
Pinot Grigio can so often be overlooked as a ‘boring’ or one-dimensional wine which is only ever good for an entry-level position on a wine list. The truth is PG is one of the nation’s favourite tipples when it comes to white wine and its enduring features of being simple, accessible and easy to drink are not to be built as a negative. It can be said that there are some very basic examples out there particularly at the lower-priced end of the scale; but the grape itself can produce some incredibly refreshing, complex wines to enjoy time and time again, ultimately creating a memorable experience we all strive for.
This Christmas we have some enticing deals from one of our Italian producers which might just offer your customers an opportunity to try a Pinot Grigio of a different calibre and fall in love with the grape all over again.
Pinot Grigio (otherwise known as Pinot Gris) is most commonly found in Italy but is comfortable the world over from New Zealand to Romania. A light white wine, it can also be made as a rose; the grape itself is pink-skinned and derives from the Pinot Noir family. Common characteristics are a light body, peach and lemon zest flavours with some nuttiness in more complex versions.
Collio Pinot Grigio, Tenuta Sant’ Helena
Fashioned from 100% Pinot Grigio, grown at Fantinel’s estate in Vencò in the Collio region, just a short walk from the Slovenian border. The juice undergoes a cool fermentation following a short, cold maceration with limited skin contact. Showing slight coppery hints, this is a full-flavoured Pinot Grigio with aromatic floral notes amongst the white fruit flavours.
Grave del Friuli Pinot Grigio, Borgo Tesis
A well-structured example of this ever-popular variety that is very much at home on the gravelly plains to the south of the eastern 'arm' of the Alps. A refreshing and flavoursome wine with ripe apple, peach and pear notes.
Both these wines come from the Fantinel stable, a 3rd generation family-run winery in the sleepy town of Spilimbergo in the heart of the Fruili region; surrounded by the eastern ‘arm’ of the Alps on gravel-rich soils, in North Eastern Italy – the home of top-quality Pinot Grigio.
The grapes for these wines are sourced from estate-owned, 300ha of vineyards in the DOC regions of Grave del Friuli and Collio, and over seen by the talented team of Luca Grattoni, a young agronomist who is well versed in the latest techniques in vine training, and winemaker Alberto Zanello who measures his experience in making wines at Fantinel in decades… these wines are as balanced and true to the area they come from as the people behind the labels.
Mixing premium and popular encourages customer to browse list and may be tempted by well-known wines rather than merely the cheapest. For example. insert a generic grape variety such as Colombard, Trebbiano or Viura as entry level wine, rather than a Pinot Grigio. This separates price-led customers from varietal-led customers and encourages those who are looking for key varieties to pay a little more for their favourite. This has been found to increase penetration throughout a wine list, while still allowing space for a generic option at the entry point for those who are cost conscious.