Where to Find the Best Pinto Grigio

Chicago Tribune wine columnist Michael Austin explains why your pinot grigio should come from Italy's Alto Adige region.

This article, written by Michael Austen, appears on Chicago Tribune.

One man’s vino is another woman’s wein.

In Alto Adige, the Italian wine region also known as Sudtirol by the locals who drink “wein,” multicultural bilingualism comes with the territory. This is Italy’s northernmost wine region, bordering Austria to the north (thus, the language duality), Switzerland to the west, and other Italian wine regions to the east and south, including Lombardy and the Veneto.

Another southern-bordering region, Trentino, is actually connected to Alto Adige at the hip, referred to in the same hyphenate-way as Minneapolis and St. Paul. Despite the hyphens, each place has its own identity, and I’m not just talking about Trentino and Alto Adige. Ask anyone from St. Paul if they live in Minneapolis and you will see what I mean.

So Trentino-Alto Adige is the overall region, cut on the bias by the Adige River (or “Etsch” to the area’s German speakers), but let’s focus on the northern half, Alto Adige, which reaches up the slopes of the Italian Alps. About 20 grape varieties are grown in Alto Adige’s seven sub-regions, including Colli di Bolzano, Lago di Caldaro, Meranese, Santa Maddalena, Terlano, Valle Isarco and Valle Venosta. The region’s white-to-red grape ratio is roughly 60/40, with pinot grigio leading the way in white plantings. Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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