Friday, October 24, 2014

Pinot Grigio from Pighin in the Friuli Grave region

Earlier in the week we covered the beautiful mountaineous region of the Valle d'Aosta in northwestern Italy and now we move over to the northeastern border of Italy in the Friuli wine region.  I'm sharing with you today a pinot grigio from the Pighin winemaking estate.

The Pighin winemaking estate came about back in 1963 when the 3 brothers: Luigi, Fernando and Ercole bought land in the Friuli Grave DOC within the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region of northeastern Italy. Since 2004 Fernando took over full control of the winery with his family and continue to produce wine today.

Friuli Grave DOC wine region
The Friuli Grave region provided by the Consorzio DOC Friuli Grave


The Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a region I discussed before, borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east and is surrounded by both the Italian Alps as well as the Adriatic Sea creating a unique climate structure. Winemaking didn't catch many folks eyes in this region until the introduction of pinot grigio throughout the world in the 80's and 90's. Provided by NASA (North American Sommelier Association), 65% of this area is made of lowlands with 35% on the hillsides, which are all located in the southern part of the region. Sixty percent of this region is dedicated to white wines with about 40% red wine.



Pighin has two estates with the Risano estate in the Friuli Grave DOC zone consisting of 370 acres (150 hectacres) with alluvial soils and the Capriva estate in the Collio Goriziano DOC zone consisting of 74 acres (30 hectacres). They are in full control of their production and quality of the wines as its produced on their estate using modern technology. The wine I'm sharing today is from the Friuli Grave DOC zone that produces most of the volume of the region (about 54%) according to NASA. This DOC is situated more in the flatlands and the wines from here are typically lighter style due to the gravelly soils.

Risano estate at Pighin in Friuli
Risano estate at Pighin




I tasted the 2013 Pighin Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave DOC. This pinot grigio was sourced from Pighin's estate in the town of Risano in the well known Friuli Grave zone. On the nose were hints of green apple, white peach as well as some herbaceous tones of cut grass and some minerality. On the palate it was a dry, medium bodied wine that was nicely crisp and smooth.



Even though this is a small wine producing region in comparison to the rest of Italy producing only about 2%, some of the best pinot grigio in Italy is produced in this region that you must seek out.