Pinot Grigio now rivals Chardonnay for popularity among white wines. The vast majority of Pinot Grigio's come from Italy, but its origin is actually in France’s Burgundy district. Pinot Noir readily mutates, and centuries ago, when a newly planted Pinot Noir vine began producing grapes, they were found to be without color. This curiosity was named Pinot Gris. Other mutations came along and were named Pinot Blanc (Bianco*) and Pinot Auxxerois. These varietals were not taken seriously in Burgundy, but they found a home in Alsace, and Pinot Gris found popularity in northern Italy where it was called Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio grows best in Italy’s cool north-eastern regions of Trentino and Alto Adige. Torre di Luna produces 15,000 cases yearly of this 100% Pinot Grigio in Trentino. Their 31-acre southwest-facing vineyard is at an altitude of 300 meters. The grapes are hand-picked, and the best are used for the Torre di Luna label. Oenologist Goffredo Pasolli ferments at controlled temperatures for 8-9 days in stainless steel vats. The wine is then aged on the lees for 6 months, cold-filtered, and bottled. The lees aging adds to the wine’s character and its gold highlights. On the palate, it is dry, full-bodied, and harmonious with a delicate aroma.
Robert Parker raved about an earlier vintage: “Consistently one of the best bargains in high quality Pinot Grigio. Torre di Luna’s fresh, lively, medium-bodied, soft wine possesses good fruit as well as an easy-going personality designed to please both neophytes and connoisseurs.”
Torre di Luna rightly suggests serving this wine at 50˚ F! Many people serve their white wines too cold (and their red wines too warm) and thus miss out on some of the delicious flavors and balance that are evident at the proper temperature.