Peter Zemmer: Pinot Grigio from the Italian Alps

On a recent Saturday afternoon, with yard work complete, it was time to sit on the patio and relax. As shade moved over the patio we also realized it was wine o’clock. Time for a glass of wine and something to eat.

Earlier we put a bottle of Peter Zemmer 2015 Pinot Grigio, which we received as a tasting sample, in the refrigerator to chill, so we knew what we would drink. What to pair with the Pinot Grigio? We had an abundance of cherry tomatoes in our garden, burrata in the refrigerator and a fresh baguette on the kitchen counter. Wine o’clock was coming together nicely.

I went to work in the kitchen as Pete opened the wine and poured us each a glass. I tossed cherry tomatoes with olive oil, fresh marjoram, salt and pepper before putting them in the oven to roast. It didn’t take long, just 25 minutes at 375º F, and they were perfectly roasted. In the meantime we sliced the baguette.

PeterZemmerPinotGrigioNext we turned our attention to the 2015 Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigiopale yellow-green in the glass with delicate white flower aromas that became more distinct as the wine warmed. Delicate melon flavors followed with hints of dried oat hay and stony minerality on the finish along with juicy acidity. Flavors are long lasting. 13.5% abv. SRP about $16.

Peter Zemmer is a family winery with three generations of winemaking experience. The winery is located in Cortina s.s.d.v., a small commune in Alto Adige near the border with Trentino. Trentino-Alto Adige is Italy’s most northern region and borders both Switzerland and Austria. Trentino comprises the southern portion of the region and is Italian-speaking. The Alto Adige (high Adige) occupies the northern portion of the region and is largely German-speaking. Alto Adige, also know as Südtirol, was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until after the end of the First World War.

The Alto Adige is dominated by the Italian Alps (the Dolomites) and the Adige River and its tributaries. Summers are warm, with cool nights, and winters snowy. Grapes are grown in the valleys as well as the surrounding mountainsides.

To build complexity Peter Zemmer includes Pinot Grigio from valley and steep mountain vineyards. Slow fermentation takes place with indigenous yeast and the wine is finished in stainless steel with lees aging.

PeterZemmerPGBy the time we tasted and talked about the wine, it was time to assemble our roasted tomato and burrata crostini. Crostini, a spread of burrata topped with roasted tomatoes. Couldn’t have been easier.

The combination was delicious. The burrata was creamy, milky and buttery, but not too much so. Roasting concentrated the fresh flavors of vine-ripened tomatoes. The marjoram added nice complexity.

The bright acidity of the Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio matched the creamy richness of the burrata perfectly and supported the flavors of the roasted tomatoes. This Pinot Grigio would pair nicely with a variety of soft cheeses, salads, chicken or fish. It was delicious on its own and paired beautifully with a warm summer evening.

Thanks to Creative Palate Communications for sending us a taste of Alto Adige.


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