While it’s true we love all our wines equally, every now and then we like to put one in the spotlight! Our Pinot Gris Ramato is one of our most popular wines, particularly as the weather warms up, and with such a unique story behind it, we thought it would be the perfect start to our “Wine of the Month” series. Here we’ll chat with our winemakers Chuck Gergley and Erik Subrizi about how this wine came about and what makes it so special.
This beautiful, copper-colored wine originates from the Friuli region of Italy, an area that borders Slovenia, and a place where the Pinot Grigio grape (also called Pinot Gris) has been grown for hundreds of years. Pinot Grigio is a traditionally dry, crisp and fresh white wine, and it wasn’t until the 1960s that winemakers began experimenting with new methods of production. Rather than pressing the skins off the grapes before fermentation, the Ramato style is made through extended contact between the juice of the grape and the pink-grey skins.
Our particular style of Ramato undergoes three weeks of skin contact after a ten-day fermentation period. Then nine months of aging in-barrel provides texture, depth and richness. The result is a deep pink, nearly red colored wine, with refreshingly crisp acidity.
“From a traditional standpoint, Ramatos are produced from Pinot Grigio which, while considered a white grape, often has a darker color,” writes Winemaker Erik Subrizi. “As an example, the grapes we used to produce our 2018 Ramato could nearly have been confused for Pinot Noir at first glance.”
The inspiration for this wine came from a former Brooklyn Winery cellar hand and a native Italian. “We worked together to produce a traditional ‘farmhouse’ style pinot gris like the ones he grew up with in Northern Italy,” writes Winemaker Chuck Gergley. Following its success in Brooklyn, our DC location quickly adopted the wine into its portfolio.
“It combines the refreshing qualities of a white or rosé but has the textural richness of red wine,” writes Erik. “We’ve taken a white grape and made it like we would a red wine, so it’s kind of like a reverse rosé but in a good way.”
Also like Rosé, this wine is extremely versatile and food friendly. Serve it chilled or let it warm nearly to room temperature for a drinking experience that’s closer to red wine. “The wine has these wonderful savory qualities with dried fruit components but also a bright freshness,” writes Erik. “A few [pairing] suggestions would be semi-soft cheeses or roasted squash dishes.”
“Personally I think it goes great with cured meat like prosciutto or Iberico ham,” says Chuck. “It’s also great pairing for a crab bake.”
This is truly a wine for all seasons and occasions, making it the perfect go-to for all your spring activities. So grab a glass and enjoy the fresh spring air!