- Q & A
Echelon is a compilation of the finest that California has to offer. They combine the best of several wine regions and layer flavors, oak and complexity into exceptional blends. Sourcing grapes from an array of renowned winegrowing regions throughout California allows them to deliver high-quality and fruit-intense wines vintage after vintage.
Kurt Lorenzi is the Vice President of Winemaking & Sourcing for Winery Exchange, the only full-service corporate brand beverage alcohol company that sources beer, wine and spirits from the finest regions worldwide. He helped me put together my first wine some 30 years ago. Lorenzi's expertise spans the wine, beer and spirits channels. At Winery Exchange, he is responsible for directing a global team of winemakers sourcing wine, beer and spirits from the major regions of the world. His appreciation for terroir stems from his childhood, spent helping his grandfather on an artichoke farm in Santa Cruz, California.
He has extensive international experience in 16 countries including Chile, Argentina, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand. One of Lorenzi's many unique skills as a winemaker, brewmaster and master distiller is his ability to create innovative blends, beers and spirits.
Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the French grape, Pinot Gris, grown to its height of perfection in Alsace and Northern Italy. The word "pinot" means pine in French referring to the way the grape clusters form on the vine. They are triangular in shape and look like a pine cone. Gris means gray. It refers to the grayish tinge on the skin of the grape and is one of the more distinctively colored white grapes on the planet.
Pinot Grigio is a relative newcomer to California. Its popularity and fashion is what prompted a few wineries with foresight to give it a whirl and so far the results have been amazing. While certainly not a wine to be mistaken for its Italian counterpart, it exhibits all the fun and forward fruit flavors while still being distinctly California.
Ours is a classic rendition offering all the signposts of great Pinot Grigio. There is a slight touch of roasted nuts, almonds and a hint of honeysuckle which shows off here along with the polished finish. This is superb with lobster ravioli in a tarragon cream sauce.
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