Home > Daily Glass, Italian wines, orange wine, Pinot Gris > Daily Glass: Not Your Mother’s Pinot Grigio

Daily Glass: Not Your Mother’s Pinot Grigio


Pinot Gris grapes. Source: Wikipedia

Of course I don’t know your mother, and of course I don’t know her wine preferences. But assuming a general motherly image, cue in a hot summer day, I would make a pretty safe bet that refreshing beverage in the glass in her hand is a white wine. Continuing playing it safe, I would expect that white wine to be very easy to drink, unoffensive and simple, so traditional Pinot Grigio (think Santa Margherita) would perfectly fit the bill.

Now, what do you think would happen if after crushing the grapes, the juice will be left in the contact with skins for, let’s say, 24 hours? Yes, of course Pinot Grigio is a white wine, at least typically it is. But to give you a little hint, take a look at the picture of the grapes – this are not random grapes, these are exactly the Pinot Grigio grapes – or as they are known throughout the most of the world, Pinot Gris. Gris here stays for “gray”, this is how we can perceive the color of these grapes.

With this little hint – what do you think now about that juice left in contact with the skins for 24 hours? If you said that you expect it to gain some color, you are absolutely right. Here is an example of an end result for you:

Attems Pinot Grigio RomatoIsn’t it beautiful? The 24 hours of skin contact gave this wine this orange hue, which technically makes this wine a part of the “orange wines” craze. I don’t have an intention of getting into the “orange wine” debate, but I can tell you that it is not only the color which is different here. Before we talk about the taste of this 2014 Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato Venezia Giulia IGT (12.5% ABV, $18, 100% Pinot Grigio, stainless steel and barriques), let me give you a short explanation about the name of the wine and its color, from the winery’s web site: “Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato continues a tradition of the Republic of Venice, since “ramato,” or coppery, was the term that referred to Pinot Grigio in contracts. A special vinification practice led to the use of this term: the must remains in contact with the skins for 24 hours and this practice gives the wine a very distinctive coppery hue“.

It was not only the color which was different. The wine had a nose of intense honey, but the palate was dry and crisp – if anything, reminding a lot more of a great Provence Rosé with a hint of strawberries and an onion peel. An excellent and thought provoking wine, whether for the hot summer day or for any day when you crave a nice glass of wine. Drinkability: 8.

That’s all I have for you for today, my friends. White, Rosé, Orange, Red – enjoy whatever is in your glass and happy Independence Day for those in the USA. Cheers!

  1. July 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I’ve recently had a skin fermented pinot gris from Hawke’s Bay NZ (Spook Light) that was very interesting. It is fermented with the skins for 2-3 weeks, so like red wine. The color was pretty similar, but there was quite a bit of tannin! I thought it was very nice for food pairing, especially with white meat.

    • talkavino
      July 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

      in 24 hours, you get color, but not much tannin, like it was in this case. I really enjoyed the wine as it was nicely balanced and interesting. Love the way the winemaking is today – with broken rules and old and new traditions 🙂

    • July 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Interesting – lovely to “see” you, obviously need to check out these wines 🙂

  2. July 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Orange wine? Never heard of it? Is it a US craze? Thst said love the description, would be curious to try it – strawberries with a hint of onion peel? Very nice. Had a friend over monday, started with a german schaumwein, followed by my favourite Swiss sauvignon blanc, reminds me of elderflowers I love it – and then a cotes de gascogne – which a salesman talked me into at the airport – but which was actually delightful – my friend has a great constitution as you may have guessed – lovely to read your recommendatilon ( my mum loves reds, but like me as the temperatures climb shed be happy in the garen with a white! pinot grigio Why not! ( just dont recommend sutter homes rose ( the only bottle i ever poured down the sink ( gift from a US friend)….

    • talkavino
      July 7, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Poli, I promise never to give you a gift of Sutter Home wine.
      This Pinot Grigio is Italian, unusual and delicious – you should try it for yourself. Swiss SB sounds great – what do you think of Chasselas or Petite Arvine?

  3. July 8, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Hi Anatoli – pinot grigio in general I know, this one sounds exciting, if its italian, easy to source too! IChasselas I am not crazy about (my memory is telling me it’s a bit rough on the palette, but it might be wrong) , Petite Arvine I think is a wonderful grape, I was invited to a Swiss French friends years ago, she served us fondue and a petite arvine, it was the first time I had it and I really liked it. 🙂

    • talkavino
      July 8, 2016 at 6:09 am

      You should try Chasselas again – you might simply had a bad luck with the first. By the way, my Swiss friend explained that Chasselas is a classic accompaniment for the Swiss fondue. It might be also dependent on the location – my friend lives close to Geneva.

      • July 8, 2016 at 6:24 am

        Hi Anatoli – I know the wine under the name fendant as well, apparently due to the way the grapes behave under pressure. I have had good fendants too, I suppose, one of my friends says it’s her favourite wine, and always serves it. and I remember it’s not bad. The thing is in the 15 years Swiss wines have really developed a lot back in the day fendant was not drinkable, nowadays many of them are. You are right classic drink with fondue, our French Swiss friend thought we didn’t know petite arvine though so wanted to introduce us to it (she was right I didnt know it, it was lovely :)!!!! Happy 8th of July and Friday!

        • talkavino
          July 8, 2016 at 7:00 am

          Cheers Poli!

        • July 9, 2016 at 2:01 pm

          Hm – just discovered a matua valley NZ sauvignon blanc which I popped in the freezer for 20 minutes 2 days ago… It is frozen solid…. Am now thawing and will try it this evening… Bad bad treatment of a wine zi like a lot, ah well! Cheers Anatoli ( does this ever happen to you?)

        • talkavino
          July 9, 2016 at 7:15 pm

          I chilled bottle of Cava overnight – in the freezer, mind you, only to be puzzled by the strange mass in the freezer next day. Luckily, it just pushed out the cork, didn’t blew up the bottle.This also happened recently, so yes, I’ve done my share 🙂

        • July 10, 2016 at 6:22 am

          thank you for sharing that, makes me feel a little less idiotic. My bottle didn’t explode either, only the screw top was pushed off, but the wine was ok, I’d say minimal change to it, but definitely still drinkable..:). I am guessing a cava is more likely to explode though! Happy Sunday!

  4. July 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Ps amazon sells the wine in question!! Will get some bottles and report back!

  5. July 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Cupra ramato looks nice too, copper coloured sounds better than orange, is it the same? As orange? fascinating

    • talkavino
      July 9, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      I’m not sure if Cupra Ramato is different from Ramato. I couldn’t figure it out, but it seems that the Ramato is the one today. So yes, this is one of the examples of the Orange wine. Here is Wikipedia article which will give you a good idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_wine

      • July 10, 2016 at 6:20 am

        super thanks! Cupra -I am guessing,mean copper, which is like orange but just sounds a bit more adult! I will “educate” myself immediately on wikipedia!!

  1. December 30, 2016 at 12:24 pm
  2. April 6, 2020 at 8:02 am

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