Wine Media Conference Pinot Grigio Festa

It’s day 2 of the 2020 Wine Media Conference. This WMC, as it is known in the world of acronyms, was scheduled to be held this year in Eugene, Oregon. However, because of the virus that shall not be named, it morphed into the first Virtual WMC. Yay, we guess.

So far there have been two days of crowdcast sessions that have ranged from extremely interesting to useful but kinda dry. You know, business as usual for a conference.

But, even for a virtual wine conference, it is to be expected that actual IRL wine might show up somewhere. Today, we were very excited to be included in a tasting of Pinot Grigio from an Italian DOC known as delle Venezia. To unpack that a bit, as they say, DOC stands for “denominazione di origine controllata”. It is one level of the Italian version of wine regulation and it is similar to the government controlled wine regulation system that exists, in various diffent forms, in most of the wine producing countries of Europe. It is essentially official government regulation and approval of a type of wine from a specific area (or “terroir”). The delle Venezie DOC is in northeastern Italy, and is comprised of the geographic regions of Trentino, Veneto and Friuli Venezi Giulia. And if you think that is easy to type correctly, you are out of your mind.

Pinot Grigio from Italy, which is typically light, acidic and fruity, is the same varietal as Pinot Gris from Alsace, Oregon, and lots of other places. Pinot Gris wines, however, tend to be stylistically very different with heavier white fruit, less acidity, and lots of steeliness. Wines labelled as Pinot Grigio that are not from Italy usually do not have the same characteristics as the real thing from Italy. And they are often more expensive, so we suggest you try the real thing first.

We were sent two samples of DOC delle Venezie Pinot Grigios for participation in a Zoom tasting with about 15 other participants. The wines were:

2019 Gemma di Luna Pinot Grigio
2019 Piera Maretellozzo Pietra di Pinot Grigio

The Gemma is in a very attractive and unusual bottle. When we unboxed it, our first thought was………oh no, pretty bottle, lousy wine. Well………we were wrong. Like, really wrong. This wine is quite light colored, with a nose that is clean, with light pear and stone fruit aromas, and a hint floral. A very pretty nose. In the mouth it has medium plus acid with a citric lemon and white fruit attack. Medium plus intensity, with more lemon flavor and a slight nutty bitterness on the finish. Overall, pretty good and since the typical on-line price is in the $11 range, very good. Way to go, fancy bottle wine!

The Piera has a more typical bottle and label format. This wine is lableled as organic, but since we are not experts on Italian organic wine regulations, cannot comment on what that really means. This wine is light/medium in color, with a fairly dense nose of apple and white fruit that borders on lychee. In the mouth it has medium acid with a apple and melon attack. It has good energy that gets a bit stony and minerally in the mid palate. The finish has some nutty bitterness with a herbal stalky note right at the end. Similar pricing at about $12, so this wine is also very good for the price.

Gord prefers the Piera, Steph prefers the Gemma. Who’s right?………..well, you’ll have to pick up both of these tasty wines and decide for yourself!


It’s tough but somebody has to do it!