D Morrison, St Helens, asks: A wine merchant told me that roséPinot Grigio is actually the authentic, traditional Pinot Grigio of Italy and that the white is an innovation. The reason given was that Pinot Grigio has pinkish skin.
I always assumed that rosé Pinot Grigio had some red wine added and was just a bit of commercial fakery. Who is right?
David Gleave MW, is managing director of Liberty Wines, replies: Pinot Grigio grapes have a red (not pink) skin.
Traditionally, there were wines that had a ramato (coppery) colour, which was derived from contact with the skins.
But I wouldn’t say this was the authentic Pinot Grigio; it was instead a choice by the winery to obtain more flavour in the wine, something that involved macerating the skins in the must for anything from four to 24 hours.
Pinot Grigio was first bottled in the 1950s, but didn’t really start to become popular until the 1980s, by which time technology had improved and the fashion was for very clear, light white wines.
As a result, the ramato style fell out of fashion, even though a few producers (Specogna, La Fattoria, Livio Felluga) stuck with it.
Whatever colour there was in the finished wines would be removed by fining, which would also remove flavour.
Today, both styles are found in the market, though the rosato style is more a product of marketing than of winemaking method.
Translated by Leo / 孔祥鑫
All rights reserved by Future plc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Decanter.
Only Official Media Partners (see About us) of DecanterChina.com may republish part of the content from the site without prior permission under strict Terms & Conditions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about how to become an Official Media Partner of DecanterChina.com.