The move is intended to improve the quality of wine from the region.

By Mike Pomranz
July 31, 2019
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As wines are concerned, Pinot Grigio doesn't have the best reputation. That's not always the wine's fault: The fruity, drink-now Italian white appeals to so many palates that it's hard to get snobby about, a victim of its own drinkability and success. But now, a group of Italian growers are turning to some basic economics in an attempt to help change things: improve the demand by controlling the supply.

The Consorzio DOC delle Venezie — the group behind Italy's Pinot Grigio DOC which was formed in 2017 and claims to produce 42 percent of the world's supply of the wine — announced that they were introducing a three-year ban on new vineyards in the region, which includes the Province of Trento, the Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Veneto regions, effective tomorrow. The group says they hope they move will work towards "improving and guaranteeing the quality of all Triveneto Pinot Grigio."

"Market stability, further quality improvement through yield reductions and growth management: these are the key words for the enhancement of Pinot Grigio DOC and its territory, a great heritage to defend and promote," the group said in announcing the plan. "This is the Consorzio's main task to accomplish through its actions, which its carries out with consistency and clarity in the global markets where the DOC has a significant presence."

The Consorzio says that, even with this new moratorium, vineyards in the DOC are already set to expand from 26,000 hectares to 30,000 hectares over the next few years thanks to vines that have already been planted but have yet to start producing fruit. And the wines certainly won't be scarce: The group says 2019 should still see about 270 million bottles going to market.

But the Consorzio also pointed out that this has been a transitional year for the relatively new DOC. March saw the group getting its first elected board, and since, they have "embarked on the ‘second era of Italian style Pinot Grigio.'" Turns out the era of Pinot Grigio snobbery might actually be knocking at our door.

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