Everything you need to know about Pinot Grigio

The US market for Pinot Grigio

In 1979 Tony Terlato imported the first cases of Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio into the US, and it was this brand that started America’s fondness for the grape.

As a totally unknown wine, Terlato could set the price at more than double the then market leader – Bolla Soave, and, by sharing the margin generously, he gave the trade, particularly restaurateurs, every incentive to push it.

Add in some big ad campaigns, and the wine now sells around 700,000 cases a year in America, despite its enviably high shelf price. It remains by far the country’s most popular wine in the $25-plus (£19.50) bracket.

Meanwhile, the overall market for Italian Pinot Grigio in the US has reached almost 115 million bottles, making it the largest market in the world for this grape.

The US is now also a major producer of Pinot Grigio, and contains 13% of the global plantings of the grape, which amounts to around 7,800ha, almost one third as much as there is Italy, where plantings total 24,500ha.

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