Wine of the Week: Pinot Grigio from Cantina La-Vis

La Vis Pinot Grigio 2011

I have been very lucky to work on an exceptional project with 20 great Italian producers these past six weeks as the show has been touring US cities. Tomorrow, they will be in Chicago and last week some of the wines were shown during the Fancy Food show. Among the producers, was the winery Cantina La-Vis from Trentino. I had first heard of the winery because it is part of a larger grouping of wineries which also owns Poggio Morino, a Morellino di Scansano producer, among others. La-Vis was also part of the week long show on wines from Trentino but somehow I had missed the chance to taste their great wines.

About 90% of the wines produced in the Trentino region are denominazione d’origine controllata (DOC) wines, among the highest levels in all of Italy. Trentino at one time was the leading supplier of grapes to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The La-Vis winery was first founded in 1850 and became a cooperative in 1948. Some 1,300 growers contribute a percentage of their grapes to the winery. The soils are silty and fertile where this Pinot Grigio is grown. The grape was first planted in Trentino in 1875 but was called Rutlander at the time. Apparently vis means forza (strength) in Latin.

I loved this Pinot Grigio which spent 6-8 months aging on its lees in stainless steel tanks. It was fruity and floral with just the right amount of acidity and depth on the palate. The wine is made using whole cluster pressing.

I also like the fact that this line of wines uses paintings by well-known Italian artists on their labels. This beautiful painting is by Giovanni Segantini whose work I have always liked but about whom I knew very little.

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