Friday 27 April 2012


With two of Italy’s most celebrated national holidays just around the corner – National Republic Day of Italy (2 June 2012) and Ferragosto (15 August 2012) – many an epicure’s thoughts turn to the delicious dishes and drops that the Italians have created over the centuries, with the wines made from the Pinot Grigio grape being amongst the highlights.

Two wines inspired by Italy’s national white grape and the country’s effervescent style, are the:

Lerida Estate 2011 Pinot Grigio, Canberra District ($25)

Lerida Estate 2011 Zenzi rosato frizzanti, Canberra District ($13.50)

Owner Jim Lumbers has Italian ancestry so when planting the vines on their Lake George vineyard site back in 1997 he was keen to plant Pinot Grigio alongside his (now award-winning) flagship Pinot Noir.

Jim says, “It has taken hard work and patience but I believe the new vintage Lerida Estate 2011 Pinot Grigio is our first really authentic Italian-styled Pinot Grigio, as opposed to the more Alsatian-styled Pinot Gris we have produced in the past – hence the subtle name change on the label. It was something worth striving for as I am a big fan of the style’s mineral and herb fruit characters, and especially its savoury mouth feel which makes it an ultra-friendly food wine. The key contributors to achieving this were many years of careful vineyard management, vines that are now fully mature and a cool - slightly wet - summer. This combination has allowed the grapes to ripen the fruit tannins without too much sugar, and maintain good acid. Our winemaker Malcolm Burdett also encouraged the natural savoury characters with 5% barrel fermentation.”

Within a few months of bottling, the quality of this wine was recognised at Australia’s premier regional wine show, The Cowra Wine Show, where it was awarded top of its class.

The Lerida Estate 2011 Zenzi rosato frizzanti also reflects a clear Italian inspiration and has made a big impact on Lerida Estate’s customers, being the new best seller at their Cellar Door and café. With Pinot Grigio at its core, it also includes Viognier (another variety planted on the 40 acre Lake George site, alongside Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Franc), and a splash of their premier Pinot Noir - to create a unique blend.

Jim explains, “The three varieties in this wine work exceptionally well together. The Viognier brings its distinctive perfume of peaches and blossom to the Pinot Grigio’s fashionable, crisp and refreshing fruits, and the Pinot Noir creates the beautiful pink hue. We make it in a delicately frizzanti style, reminiscent of a classic Italian Moscato. The clean, crisp palate of this wine matches brilliantly with creamy or cheesy pasta dishes, or as an accompaniment to a palate cleansing sorbet after a rich winter dish” says Jim, “but judging by comments from our customers, it goes pretty well with most things, any time!”

For further inormation: Jim Lumbers & Anne Caine, Lerida Estate P: 02 6295 6640 E: W:


Both wines can be purchased directly at the cellar door or via the online store at
Lerida Estate 2011 Pinot Grigio, Canberra District – RRP $25, 750ml bottle under screwcap
Stocked in ACT, Qld, NSW and Vic at Vintage Cellars and good independent liquor stores.
Distributed by Vino Bambino (VIC), Macro Vintner Partners (NSW and QLD) and Lerida Estate (ACT).
Lerida Estate 2011 Zenzi rosato frizzanti, Canberra District – RRP $13.50, 500ml bottle under screwcap
Stocked at selected independent liquor stores in ACT & NSW. Distributed by Lerida Estate (P: 02 6295 6640)

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