Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio: the wine that did not exist.
Pinot Grigio as a white wine was created by Santa Margherita winemakers in 1961. Until then, Pinot Grigio grapes were used in blends with other varieties to make uninspiring/ordinary table wines. Indeed, our winemakers found an undiscovered potential to
produce an elegant and fascinating/charming white wine from the juice coming from those grey skinned grapes.
They had the intuition and the wine making flair/wisdom to separate the juice from skins right after pressing. Since the very beginning, Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita was so well appreciated by wine lovers in Italy and abroad that the same process was adopted and “interpreted” by an increasing numbers of producers in several Italian areas. Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio then became the epitome of Italianwhite wine.
The unmatched elegant, fresh and crispy profile of Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita and its high quality standard rely upon three pillars, since the day we created it.
Territory of origin
Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita is produced from vineyards located on the hills along the Adige river valley, an area in the north east of Italy bordering with Austria (Appellation of Origin). This region has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers and with great temperature variations between night and day.
Land is predominantly composed of limestone. All together, these natural conditions result in a reduced availability of nutrients for the vines, which correspond to low yields and high aromatic components concentration (in the grape): the
basis for Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita sensory profile. Vineyards management and harvesting Vineyards of Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita are located only uphill, where (micro)climate and soilsconditions described above are at their optimum (their best).
Vineyard cultivation is managed by skilled viticulturists under the supervision of Santa Margherita winemaking team, having them as a reference the desired quality of the (resulting) wine. Green pruning permits to select only the most promising bunches at the early vegetative stages so as to significantly reduce vines productivity, thus increasing grape quality even further.
100% hand harvesting is another key element in differentiating Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita quality level.
Handpicking is not an option (or is a must) because of vineyards slope (inclination) and it has many positive implications:
- Bunches selection: handpicking permits to immediately separate all those bunches that show defects (maturation, mould development, etc), then delivering to the cellar only optimally ripen and healthy grapes;
- Unbroken grapes: unlike machine harvesting, through handpicking solely intact grapes are collected, thus avoiding uncontrolled intracellular fermentation before pressing;
- Small quantity containers: grapes collected by hand are quickly delivered to the cellars through 300/400 kg containers, thus avoiding exposure to foreign matters and uncontrolled fermentation phenomena.
Starting from perfectly ripe grapes, kept at their best through careful handpicking is a pre-condition to consistently produce our high quality Pinot Grigio; these standards would not be achieved without state-of-the-art wine making equipments and winemaking knowledge. The 1961 intuition to enhance all the flavors and varietal aromas of Pinot Grigio grapes has been continuously improved in our quest for perfection with the adoption of viticulture and wine making practices we developed and defined through our experience. Today very soft and gentle pressing of grapes, crio-maceration (juice cooling perhaps ?) , yeasts selection and temperature control fermentation permit, together with the original genial idea of immediate skin separation, the transfer of all the quality potential from the grapes into the fresh, crispy and lively Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.