Crisp, Cool Climate Pinot Bianco from Alto Adige
2021 Egger-Ramer Pinot Bianco
One of the lesser-known members of the Pinot family, Pinot Bianco, as it's known in Italy, is a white-berried mutation of Pinot Noir. In France, it is called Pinot Blanc, Klevner in Alsace, Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria, and Beli Pinot in Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
With its relatively delicate and neutral character, Pinot Bianco can be made into a range of styles - and for this reason, it is sometimes mistaken for Chardonnay. Some of its finest expressions come from Alsace as well as northern Italy, where it is used to make pristine dry wines, and in the production of sparkling wines like Franciacorta and even Prosecco, in small quantities. Pinot Blanc is also the most common varietal used in the French sparkler, Cremant d’Alsace.
Much easier to grow than Pinot Noir and fairly resistant to colder temperatures, Pinot Bianco can be beautifully textured, nuanced and aromatic in the hands of a skilled winemaker. With relatively little intervention, it can be simple and light, or techniques can be applied to gain more texture, including malolactic fermentation, lees stirring and maturation in smaller-sized barrels.
Egger-Ramer is a 14-hectare artisan winery in Alto Adige that has been in existence since 1880. Fifth-generation winemaker, Peter Egger-Ramer says the winery’s location combines the best of both worlds: the Alpine and the Mediterranean. Famous for the accolades they’ve received for their native Lagrein, Egger-Ramer also produces exemplary cool climate Schiava, St. Magdalener, Gewürtztraminer and Pinot Bianco.
Light yellow in the glass with a slight scent of apple, this Pinot Bianco offers fresh apple and pear flavours with a delicate play of aromas and accentuated acidity. With time, the layers will become more apparent and complex, with the potential to evolve gracefully for at least five years. An excellent match for roast chicken, salads, mild cheeses, seafood and pasta with cream sauces. Try it this week with our recipe for Sibenik salt cod fritters, from Executive Chef Nino Zoccali's second cookbook, Venetian Republic.