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Doc delle Venezie: Pinot grigio rosé becomes a case study

The best clones are selected for the production of the rosé type

The amendment to the DOC delle Venezie disciplinary has been published in the Official Gazette: the decree has been issued which will allow the terms "rosé", "rosé" or "coppery" to be used on the label

Rosé wine is now more than ever on everyone's lips. The trends speak for themselves: the global consumer, especially the British, German, US and Canadian - reference markets for the DOP delle Venezie with over 80% of exports destined for these countries - seeks and drinks rosé. The prospects are therefore encouraging for the typology, especially in the complex post-pandemic landscape.

If the wine industry is committed to riding the wave of "pink fashions", the Consorzio delle Venezie - which represents the operators of the Pinot Grigio DOC production chain of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the Autonomous Province of Trento, one of the areas with the largest single grape variety in the world - through a study started in 2017 and led by Diego Tomasi of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (CREA-VE) in Conegliano, has decided to invest first of all in research associated with Pinot Grigio and , in particular, its pink or copper version. A typology that in all respects represents the history and the winemaking tradition of this wine-grape variety closely linked to the Italian Northeast since the end of the 19th century: today 85% of the national Pinot Grigio and 43% of the global one.

Although it is mainly widespread and known worldwide for its white version, Pinot Grigio owes its name to the typical gray color of the grape and for this reason the result of "traditional" vinification, ie left to macerate with the skins for a time. variable, it is a coppery color or "onion skin".

The aim of the project, led by CREA-VE and financed by the Veneto Region, is to study and compare the ampelographic properties of 17 Pinot Grigio clones from different production areas of Italy, France, Germany and Serbia: shape and compactness of the bunch , shape of the grape, thickness of the skin, coloring properties (quantity of polyphenols and anthocyanins), resistance to botrytis, are all fundamental qualitative information for the design of the new vineyard and for the management of the winemaking processes, in particular in the mashing phases and maceration. A study of great scientific and popular interest, over two vintages, which will allow not only to select the best Pinot Grigio clones for the production of "rosé" through the analysis of different samples and micro-vinifications, but also to define a real “color identity” to be applied also on the label, thus choosing the most consistent term with respect to the result obtained - rosé or coppery - in order to seize the best opportunities and market trends.

A hot topic brought to the table of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies by the Consorzio DOC delle Venezie in 2020 and ended following the issue of the decree - and the subsequent publication in the Official Gazette of the text with the first official amendment to the Production Regulations - which, without putting one's hand to the ampelographic base, will allow the terms “rosé”, “rosé” or “coppery” referring to the specific typology to be reported on the label and which to all intents and purposes formalizes an already existing typology. “In the meantime”, explains Tomasi, “we have set up another experimental plant with the aim of comparing 13 different rootstocks all grafted onto Pinot Grigio. The climate change, the agronomic techniques, the dynamic characteristics of the soil and the qualitative expectations, require a careful and perhaps different choice of rootstock. The physiological and gene expression tests should lead in a few seasons to new advice for the winemaker ”.

“It is now evident that the rosé trend is in strong growth - the president of the Consorzio di Tutela, Albino Armani - is asking. I would like to underline that our attention to typology goes beyond any current or market trend. It is a completely independent work that began at the dawn of our PDO, which boasts very solid foundations and important preliminary studies on the enological and viticultural aspects. The research will be useful to our Pinot Grigio producers to be able to make a great rosé and categorize it in a precise and scientific way, especially now that we have obtained the approval of the modification of the specification that finally allows us to formalize a category that has always been ours" .

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