In our pursuit of excellence at Montalto we are constantly evolving our vinification techniques to generate wines that we consider to be the best expression of our fruit and vineyards.
Of special interest is the expansion of our Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris programme. Of course, these two wines are made from the same grape variety, the difference being style. The direct translation of the words Grigio and Gris, from their native Italian and French tongues respectively, is grey.
Understandably, Australian marketers haven’t embraced the term Pinot Grey and I’m sure the flavour grey doesn’t hold much appeal on the palate. Traditionally, the Italian wines have tended to be lower in alcohol exhibiting crisp and zesty flavour profiles, while the French wines have been riper, luscious, and rich in texture showing more exotic fruit flavours.
At Montalto, we see merit in both styles. Trial work in the winery has been integral to the style development of both of these wines.
Our Grigio is made to be bright and crunchy with floral and mineral notes and flavours of pear and apple. We achieve this by picking slightly earlier and then whole bunch press the grapes, before fermenting 75% of the blend in stainless steel tanks with cultured yeast chosen for its aromatic properties. The balance of the blend goes directly to old oak barrels and is ‘wild’ fermented – the result is fresh primary fruit from the tank component and some textural and funky characters from the barrel portion. The Grigio is bottled early to preserve varietal freshness.
Our Gris on the other hand is left to ripen on the vine for an extended period followed by 100% barrel fermentation. The wine will go through malo-lactic fermentation followed by 12 months barrel maturation during which time we choose to stir the yeast lees – as a result the Gris is a richer, fuller wine exhibiting more richness and texture. Be sure to drop by the cellar door and decide which style is for you.