Pinot Grigio's world-wide challenge
What can we do for the Italian appellation in order to protect and enhance the value of the wine?
The recent proposal launched by the Italian Unione Italiana Vini and Alleanza delle Cooperative Agroalimentari was well received by the Consorzio delle Venezie Doc to establish a national discussion table about Pinot Grigio, in order to monitor the various Italian areas under this appellation and help the supply chain in the work of protection and enhancement of this wine.
Albino Armani, Consorzio delle Venezie DOC’s president, rightly hoped that this national coordination "soon leads to actions on the market that help increasing the value of the Pinot Grigio production chain, which represents the first still white wine of our exports and a great source of wealth in our wine system".
As proposed by Albino Armani, the question, therefore, is: how to increase the value of the Pinot Grigio production in the world?
From data provided by Unione Italiana Vini Wine Observatory, in Italy Pinot Grigio covers an area of 31,327 hectares (about four times higher than the second in the ranking, California and Oregon with 8,906 hectares and with France even in fifth place with just over 3,000 hectares). We can easily understand how much this wine counts for our wine system.
We realize, though, that it is not easy for everyone to understand the importance of this type of wine whose production is strongly concentrated in the Triveneto (Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino) which alone represents 41% of the world Pinot Grigio vineyard.
Moreover, Pinot Grigio is a sort of "ghost" wine for Italy since its 95% is exported. So we have to find tools, strategies, actions to enhance a product that few people know and consider worth in our country. The widespread idea that Pinot Grigio is essentially a "neutral" wine, with a rather low personality index, was born from this observation.
It is this misconception, which, in my opinion, leads to a concrete difficulty in capitalizing the value of this wine. We continue to see few efforts to better enhance the different souls of the Italian Pinot Grigio. In fact, it is difficult to imagine international promotional actions dedicated to our great Italian white without a clear and transparent definition of its production kaleidoscope.
If we want to increase its value, we should start from investing in its top quality. Working on the base of the production pyramid, as done in the recent decades, was demonstrated to be not the best and successful strategy.
It has always been the top to raise the value of the appellation. The base must constantly testify how the whole production model is oriented towards a qualitative increase. We believe this is the best strategy and I personally believe that the Italian Pinot Grigio production chain can play its cards right and better, from top to bottom.