This is not the character-free Pinot Grigio so popular these days but rather a serious wine made by a house with 872 vintages under its belt, counting the one maturing in its cellar at this moment. A self-sustained community, the Augustinian Abbey of Novacella is a farm, a church, and a school (seminary?) of enology as well as an ancient winery. Situated in the heart of Alto Adige, the vines are planted between two and three thousand feet, on steep slopes of granitic schist from which it draws a fantastic minerality. The grapes hang well into the Autumn, developing aromatic qualities that waft out of the glass and draw you in, where you suddenly find yourself swimming in apricot, honeydew melon, and citrus. Rich and full-fruited, it finishes with peach and white flowers chased by high-altitude acidity and mountain minerality.
Pairing: A pretty sipper for afternoon or evening, it pairs with fennel-orange salad with shaved Parmesan, grilled sea bass, or marinated squid salad.
VARIETY: PINOT GRIGIO
REGION: Valle Isarco, Alto Adige, ITALY