Ramato means copper in Italian.
And while you might think when you look at a Ramato wine that it’s a Rosé wine — a wine made by pressing red wine grapes with brief skin contact so little color from the skins is imparted in to the wine–
Ramato is actually more like the opposite of a Rosé!
Ramato is made from a “white” grape, not red.a white grape that becomes copper colored from extended contact with the skins, making it more like an “orange” wine than anything else.
Typically Ramato is made from Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy. Pinot grigio grapes range in color from gray (gris) to pink and even deeper hues.
Because these white grapes actually have color to their skins, until 1961, Pinot Grigio was not vinified as a “white” wine but some shade of copper. Santa Margherita was the first winery in the world to turn the generally grey-pink Pinot Grigio grapes into the “white” wine most of us think of today. Basically, they remove the color from the wine.
Quick: What’s the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris?
Pinot Grigio actually got its start in France where it’s known as Pinot Gris, most famously in Alsace. While the same grape, they are different in style with the one from Italy lighter in body and more acidic.
As Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris have become more popular throughout the world, more of it is grown in other places around the world.
And some of those wines are made in a Ramato style.
This month, as the Italian Food Wine Travel group of winer writers focuses on Ramato (see below for links), I checked my cellar and the local stores, and reached out to a few contacts in search of wine to buy or find samples.
Since the Ramato sample from Italy is due to arrive from New York on Tuesday, and our group is publishing our pieces in advance of the July 3 twitter chat at 8am Pacific Saturday, I decided to open up the second best choice:
Biodynamic Ramato from Oregon!
Read on for more about that or go here to read about three Rosato and two Ramato from Italy.
I’m going to Coravin the Oregon Ramato because what will make the more interesting article will be to do a comparison– Ramato from Italy with Ramato from Oregon — along with an Attems Pinot Grigio that’s NOT a Ramato but is Pinot Grigio from Italy.
As a wine writer, a wine taster, a wine geek, AND a blind wine tasting champ (really! read more here), I like nothing better than comparing different kinds of similar but different wines: same grape but different winemakers or terroir or vintages or in this case, styles. Hmm that reminds me I have a Pinot Gris from Alsace in the cellar also…
Today I’d like to call attention to wines from two Oregon wineries, the certified biodynamic and organic Montinore Estate and Antiquum Farms, which isn’t certified but really is what I’d call “beyond biodynamic” and truly regenerative agriculture at its best expression.
In 2018, I purchased the Antiquum Aurosa while on a visit during a press trip. This was possibly my favorite stop on the trip, certainly one of the most memorable; more on that below. In 2021, I will be back in the region for the Wine Media Conference and hopefully will visit Antiquum again and purchase a bottle of the Alium because THAT would really be an interesting comparison. It’s doubtful that this bottle will last that long however: now that I’ve had a taste of it I know I will be yearning for it, and I know I can replace it so what’s stopping me? Hmm possibly that it would be even more interesting to compare the vintages?
2017 Antiquum Aurosa, Willamette Valley
Biodynamically grown Pinot Gris
purchased at the winery with an industry discount
Antiquum Farm, located in the southern Willamette Valley not far from Eugene, is a pastoral paradise practicing revolutionary regenerative agriculture. No exaggeration!
On the Antiquum Farm property, 140 acres are forest, there’s one 7ha Pinot Noir vineyard, and one 2ha Pinot Gris vineyard. Stephen Hagen started as an organic farmer, then decided to become more site specific. Instead of bringing in organic fertilizers, why not make his own? He uses sheep, geese, and chicks to fertilize and sanitize the vineyards and no longer tills in the grass. In 7 years his vineyards became self-sufficient; today Stephen uses no outside inputs of any kind, including irrigation, relying on biodynamic and regenerative farming principles and avoiding all chemical and mechanical inputs.
When the vines were young, he bought an old fire truck to water the plants!
We wrote about the Antiquum Pinot Noir here and we will be publishing about their grapes made into amphora wines by Beckham in next week’s Wine Pairing Weekend invitation to explore wines around the world made in amphora in August. I’m super excited about hosting this!
Antiquum’s amazing fruit ranges in color from pale grey to pink to purple and green all on the same vine and sometimes even the same berries. Antiquum makes two extended skin contact Pinot Gris. The 2017 Aurosa spent 37 hours on the skins in a gentle three day cold soak prior to fermentation while the Alium steeps on the skins AFTER fermentation for 30 days then aged in neutral French oak barrels for nine months.
Pale copper in color, the aroma is subtle yet clean and pure with hints of meadow flowers and orchard fruit, while the palate has herbs of Provence as well with minerality on the finish. Lovely alone, this paired well with chicken marinated in sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, and teriyaki sauce then grilled. I’d love to pair it with grilled stoned fruit and burrata salad.
2019 Montinore “L’Orange” Willamette Valley
60% Pinot Gris with 40% Muscat certified by Demeter as biodynamic
sample provided for my review consideration
We’ve written about Montinore a few times now, thanks to my purchases on that 2018 press trip, to listening to Rudy Marchesi speak at the Biodynamic Symposium in SF a few years ago, and to samples provided to the press, so
we’re big fans of this Demeter certified Biodynamic leader in American regenerative agriculture.
Read about three Montinore Pinot Noir here, another Pinot Noir here in a lineup of Oregon Pinot Noir, and about their unusual Italian wines here and here.
And this L’Orange from Montinore Estate is another certified biodynamic winner!
In color, a rich deep orange copper. The muscat in the blends bring rich florals including orange blossom and blood orange with sweet orange and tangerine on the palate with dried orange with spice and black tea on the finish. This was also paired with the marinated chicken and it worked really well.
Subscribe for more extensive tasting and pairing notes
- Another BIPOC Celebrity Wine that I’m anxious to share with you by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Bibimbap and Pinot Gris Ramato, Sort Of by The Quirky Cork
- Fregola Sarda Con Gamberi + a Vertical Tasting of the 2017 and 2019 Attems Ramato Pinot Grigio by Culinary Adventures
- Making Pinot Grigio Ramato Style: The Dal Cero Family of Corte Giocobbe by Joy of Wine
- Craving Copper: Old World vs. New World Ramato Wines & Pairings by Somm’s Table
- Ramato, A Fresh Look at This Italian Wine by Savor the Harvest
- Ramato: Taking Rosè to the Next Level by Vino Travels
- Ramato, the copper colored “orange” wine of Italy — and Oregon! by Wine Predator
- Santa Margherita: My Favorite Pinot Grigio by Our Good Life
- This Summer Drink Pink With Pinot Grigio by The Wine Chef
with these Oregon and Italian Ramato!
Find out about more Ramato wines from the Italian Food Wine Travel writers by clinking on the links below. You can also check the hashtag #ItalianFWT on twitter if you miss our 8am Pacific chat on Sat. July 3;
PS On Weds July 7 at noon Pacific I’m leading a ZOOM interview and tasting with Luis Duarte, who was named winemaker of the year in Portugal in 1997, 2007, and 2014.
For Ventura locals, you can pick up the three Portuguese wines at the warehouse on Olivas Park Drive across from the golf course. The discount code is IWILLPICKUP and then coordinate to pick up the wine by emailing email@example.com).
I’ll be posting more about this event soon!