Monday, May 13, 2013

WOW: Grape Trivia--What is Grillo?!

WOW: Wine of the Week

Grape Trivia: What is Grillo?!

Altadonna Grillo 2011
It is time to expand your wine knowledge (and palate!), this week's WOW is Altadonna Grillo 2011.  Grillo is a Sicilian grape variety that was once widely grown on bush-vines and used in the production of Marsala.  While it is still used for this purpose, the demand for Marsala has diminished and it is increasingly more likely to find this as a single varietal wine or in a blend with Chardonnay.

Grillo shows a range of citrus flavors, usually led by lemon.  The best part about this little known varietal is the price!  At under $12 per bottle, it is a convenient (and inexpensive) way to expand your wine horizons!

Winery Notes

"After a distinguished 25-year career working for some of the most prestigious, internationally acclaimed estates in Italy, Stefano Chioccioli – one of Italy’s leading enologists and agronomists – is working alongside his son Niccolo to produce wines under their own label: Altadonna. While Niccolo received a formal education in enology, following in Stefano’s footsteps and earning a degree from the University of Florence, he insists that it was his father who truly taught him the essentials of making and understanding wine. Together, they are producing wines that capture the essence of Italy and its diverse terroirs.
The Altadonna line is comprised of six varietal wines, each made from the principle grape variety of the respective region in its purity. From Pinot Grigio in the Venezie region to Nero d’Avola in Sicily, each wine is a reflection of this father-son team’s expertise and love for the land. According to Stefano, “The role of the winemaker is to enhance the land where he works, obtaining wines with the maximum quality expression of their area, applying a respect for nature with a modern winemaking approach creating richly balanced wines with fresh aromas. Quality is made in the details.” In developing Altadonna, Stefano and Niccolo sought out some of the top producers from which to source their fruit. They work closely with these producers to ensure the grapes are cultivated according to their strict quality standards. To eliminate the potential of crop deterioration during transport, the Chiocciolis work with trusted, local cellars in each region. They also closely monitor the vinification process to produce the highest quality wines. The winery takes its name from this duo’s beloved wife and mother, Anna Altadonna. In addition to adopting her maiden name, the brand features her silhouette on the front label of every bottle." - Winery Notes

Altadonna Grillo 2011 Tasting Notes

An indigenous varietal of Sicily, Grillo thrives in the hot, dry climate of the island. Fermented in stainless steel to maintain the freshness of the grapes, this Grillo is abundantly aromatic with lush notes of apricot, lemons and herbs. It possesses a seemingly salty quality, likely derived from the nearby sea.

Altadonna Grillo 2011 Pairings

Enjoy with a wide array of seafood dishes.

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