Morning staff tasting; 3rd day of selecting a Pinot Grigio blend. Many of the first Italians to settle in the Anderson Valley grew grapes and opened hotels in the town of Navarro, which was then called “Iteville” in Boontling, the unique language which originated in the valley in the late 1800's.
In many Italian appellations, winemakers fret about Pinot Gris producing flabby wine, so they harvest this variety early, before the grapes lose acidity; their Pinot Grigios have a lean flavor profile. The one appellation in Italy where the Pinot Gris doesn't lose acidity is in chilly Alto Adige, where the wines ring with clarity and sing in your mouth. Anderson Valley's viticultural climate, like Alto Adige, produces Pinot Gris grapes with balanced acidity when fully ripe. Wines made from this grape have a confusing number of names; in Alsace it was once called Tokay. In 1568 an officer in the Imperial Army helped capture Tokay, Hungary from the Turks; he brought cuttings to Alsace where the variety was named Tokay and later, Tokay d'Alsace. In 2006, the name Tokay was reserved for the sole use of wines from the Tokay region in Hungary, so Alsace renamed their wine Pinot Gris. For this bottling, Navarro will stick with Pinot Grigio, the designation from Alto Adige. Lemon bright flavors are a perfect match for burrata wrapped in prosciutto or chicken with spätzle. Gold Medal winner.