A wine region that really intrigues me is the Alto Adige in Northeast Italy. Yes the region is physically located in Italy, but its identity is only partly tied to its geographic placement. Due to many events in history related to war, it actually shares a closer historical relationship with German culture. In fact, both Italian and German are official languages in the Alto Adige. This dichotomy in culture and actual physical location is what makes this place seem so intriguing to me and is what allows the region to earn a spot on my list as a future travel destination. It’s also pretty darn beautiful, which is why I have a picture of a vineyard site in the region first, instead of the bottle of wine I’m recommending. Tasting the 2006 Tramin Pinot Grigio was like tasting the cool alpine air and the sheer stony cliffs of the environment in which the grapes grew.
The wine tasted stony, whatever that may mean to you, and it had acid that was present, but not overwhelming. It had good fruit and concentration and a mouth-filling quality you wouldn’t expect from pinot grigio. In fact, it tasted more serious than what you’d expect from a wine that’s often appeared in too many cheesy, mainstream commercials promoting it.
I guess the commercials have worked because as of 2008, pinot grigio is the second largest imported wine varietal into the US holding a 21% share of the US import market and 77% of all italian varietals sold in the country. Pretty staggering statistics if you ask me.