Pinot Grigio: higher prices and less availability

The vineyards of northeast Italy have produced high quality Pinot Grigio this year, but less of it. And more is being bottled in the region, which will make it harder to find in bulk, and general price hikes of up to a third quite likely.

Especially in the Veneto there are losses of Pinot Grigio / Credit: Consorzio Vini delle Venezie DOC
Especially in the Veneto there are losses of Pinot Grigio / Credit: Consorzio Vini delle Venezie DOC

According to the DOC delle Venezia consortium the tricky climatic conditions this year have reduced Pinot Grigio yields in all three regions where it is produced. Friuli got off lightly with a loss of five percent, while Trentino reported losses of twice that figure. In Veneto, however, by far the largest area of Pinot Grigio, with 59 percent of the DOC vineyard area, 15 percent fewer grapes were harvested.

Quality, on the other hand, is said to have risen.  "Compared to 2020, we expect fresher Pinot Grigio, elegant and with a good structure. This was already evident from the first samples we analysed in eastern Veneto at the end of August. The balance between sugar and acid values is optimal, especially thanks to the low night temperatures from mid-August. The vintage can be compared to 2015 in terms of quality, if not even better", informs Dr. Diego Tommasi from the CREA-VE research centre for viticulture and enology in Conegliano.

Inevitably, grape prices have risen sharply. "Currently, we are noting a price increase of 30 to 35 per cent.” comments Albino Armani, president of the consortium. “This trend already began in September 2020 and proves how our DOC is getting the value and recognition it ".
He admits, however, that this kind of price increases is not always easy for the market to understand. 

Large DOCs like delle Venezie, says Armani, need slow and steady price changes and increases. "We rely on the support of large business groups to maintain a climate of serenity in the trade and to prepare for the further consolidation of the delle Venezie brand. They are crucial to the growth of our DOC and they, in turn, believe in the quality of our work.”

Interestingly in a sector dominated by bulk sales, not only are prices increasing, but so is bottling in the regio. From January to August 2021, an average of 21.3m bottles were filled each month nearly seven percent more than in the same period last year. Visitors to the World Bulk Wine Exhibition in Amsterdam this year who are looking for affordable Pinot Grigio from the Venezie will have an even tougher time than usual. 
 

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