Pav on Juice: Pigato/Vermentino

Pavle MilicMay 24, 2023
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Not too long ago, I had a bottle of Pigato at Andreoli Italian Grocer with sautéed calamari. The pairing hit the spot. Unfamiliar with the Pigato varietal, I dug into the wine annals and discovered Pigato is a veritable kissing cousin of Vermentino.

With origins in the coastal regions of the Mediterranean, Vermentino is versatile, fresh and easy-drinking. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed the grape’s expression from places like Sardinia and Liguria, which tend to be lighter. In fact, last year I took the family to Cinque Terre, and we had copious amounts of Vermentino – all in the name of research, of course. I’ve also had some specimens from the island of Corsica, which are a bit more serious in structure and weight.

A few years ago, Rob Hammelman from Sand-Reckoner Vineyards in Willcox asked Greg Gonnerman of Laramita Cellars to plant some Vermentino in his nearby vineyard. Rob made wine from those grapes, and the result was note-worthy: lemony and floral, with arresting structure. When it came time to decide which varietals to plant at my winery in Elgin, Los Milics, Vermentino was added to the roster.

We expect to release our inaugural offering of Vermentino in early summer. Like I hinted above, ours is going to “hit the spot” in our part of the world, especially during the warmer months. We added a small amount of Malvasia Bianca for tropical aromatics and oomph. What to pair with it? The hiramasa crudo at Valentine in Phoenix has me thinking: Perfect pairing.

Sand-Reckoner Vineyards