June 2021 Wine of the Month: Pinot Grigio
At Suhru we have always focused on making Pinot Grigio in the classic Italian style which characteristically is known for big, bold, fruit notes with a bright, crisp acidity.
When we first opened Suhru Wines and were deciding which grape varieties we wanted to work with Pinot Grigio was the first one we selected. In our cool maritime climate we grow crisp, bright, fruit expressive whites so well that making a Pinot Grigio in the Italian style seemed like the obvious choice, although no-one was doing it.
Pinot Grigio was the first wine we made under the Suhru label and now over 10 years later it still remains one of our most popular wines!
What's the Difference Between Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris?
Domestically here in the US Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris have become synonymous, however they describe two different styles of winemaking for the same grape, Italian vs French.
Pinot Grigio when made in the Italian style is all about lightness and fruit forward flavors culminating in crisp acidity, a perfect compliment to our Maritime cuisine. Pinot Gris made in the Alsatian style however are characteristically made using riper fruit, which results in lower acidity with enhanced viscosity on the mouthfeel and is typically finished with some residual sugar remaining in the wine. This style although enjoyable, is stylized behind a totally different cuisine than what we see in our region.
If you're interested in learning more about the differences between the two styles, checkout our History of a Grape: Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris blog post where we take a deep dive of these two styles!
A Closer Look at the Vineyard
Of all of the vineyards we work with, the Pinot Grigio vineyard sees the most consistency from year to year. Located slightly further west than the rest of our vineyard partners, this particular parcel of land is extremely flat and uniform across the entire block which allows for uniformity in ripening leading it to be one of the first vineyards to ripen each year.
In the 2020 growing season we saw nice growth on the vine with warm days and lots of sunshine however as we entered the harvest season we experienced cooler than normal temperatures with very cool evenings. This delayed ripening which allowed the berries to retain the acidity in the grapes much longer, allowing for riper flavors to develop at lower sugar ripening stages.
As a result our 2020 Pinot Grigio has rich fruit flavors and more complexity and depth than years past while still maintaining that crisp acidity that makes this wine so wonderfully refreshing!
Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio grapes ripen to have red rather than green skins and give off an orange tinge to the grape juice when it is pressed that dissipates as it undergoes fermentation.