Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2014

Light golden color; fresh lemon, lime, hint of apple on the nose; lemon predominates on the palate thanks to the superb, crisp acidity that will make this a winner with salads—the wine almost compels you to enjoy a garden salad on a beautiful spring evening.

Medium body, some complexity, an astonishing value—an upscale pinot grigio at less than a Hamilton.

“Lumina”means light of the moon, and Ruffino chose the name to highlight the importance of moonlight to grape growing. Pinot grigio now is the most famous white wine in Italy, and the grapes for this effort come from Italy’s premier pinot grigio regions: Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino. No wonder it is a wonderful wine.

While the grapes for this effort come from the northeastern-most part of Italy, north of Venice, the Ruffino story begins in the Tuscan town of Pontassieve, near Florence, and a small winery established by cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino in 1877; by the 1880s, they were winning awards; by the 1960s Ruffino sold wines in more than 100 countries. Primarily known for their reds, particularly Chiantis and Super Tuscans, Ruffino recently moved into sparklings—making Moscato d’Asti in northwestern Italy’s Piedmont region and Prosecco in Italy’s northeastern Veneto region. Now they make an outstanding pinot grigio in same region using their proven formula: attention to detail, focus on quality grapes, dedication to allow land and grapes to speak with minimal intervention in both the growing and winemaking. Clearly their Lumina is worth a taste—maybe by the light of a full moon and paired with a great salad. $9

Ruffino website
Second photo: Ruffino vineyard
Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio
Ruffino vineyard