An alternative style of Pinot Grigio

An alternative style of Pinot Grigio, photo by Marco Giovanetti

It is no secret that Canadians love their Pinot Grigio, For instance, The SAQ list 54 references in their catalog from $8.65 to $37.75 which represents roughly 18.55% of their Italian white wine listings.

In Ontario, the variety is more popular than Quebec among English wine consumers. For example, there are 100 references in the LCBO which constitute a bit more than 30% of their white portfolio. In addition,  British Columbia follows the trail of Ontario with 25% of their Italian white selections consecrated to the variety.

However, despite its popularity on Canadian shores, Pinot Grigio remains still a dull wine. Frankly, The French adopted grape in Italy has become a victim of its own success with light and bland blends flooding the market. It is a great comic tragedy that most of these wines taste like sweet concoctions of lemonade with high doses of residual sugar.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and they can be found in the new generation of young Italian winemakers. These new artisans are vinifing the grape differently and crafting exceptional terroir driven wines that praise the virtues of the variety. Here is a wonderful producer that I recently discovered at the latest Raspipav wine fair held this past Spring in Montreal.

An alternative style of Pinot Grigio, photo by Marco Giovanetti


In eastern Friuli-Venezia Giulia on the border with Slovenia, the winery of Damijan Podversic makes fascinating wines, crafted by a passionate winemaker with a utmost respect for terroir.

Damijan Podversic started out in the wine business as a negociant. However, it all changed when he found a small abandoned plot in the Collio Goriziano, he ignored the contadino attitude that it was too difficult to work and eagerly bought it. He restored  the land, rebuilt terraces, and set to replanting it: not only does he now cultivate top-quality grapes, but his once skeptical neighbors eye his steep mountain top vineyard with great envy.

Damijan Podversic wines are created using alternative methods that feature ripe grapes  and skin fermentation winemaking techniques. The white wines ( orange wines) produced by this process are similar with red wines, with great depth, concentrated flavours, rich aromas and soft tannins and above all a smooth and balanced finish.

Damijan Pinot Grigio

Fermented on the skins in small conical oak barrels for 30 days.  After fermentation, it is aged in barrels of 5 hl for 12 months and aged in bottle for 1 year. The sediment in the bottle serves to preserve and protect the wine.

On the nose, complex nuances that brings to mind hints of red currant, raspberry, walnut bread and flint. On the palate, it is  mineral,  quite fresh and bright  with hints of pineapple cake,   and quince jam . Long and spicy, it would be perfect with light seafood pastas.

The wines of Damijan are represented by Agence Sans Nom. For more information on how to adquire this wine, please contact: Vadim Fonta ( 514-261-2886