Wine Stories Cesare Pillon

Goodbye Giorgio Grai

Goodbye Giorgio Grai

The legendary winemaking consultant and producer Giorgio Grai died in Bolzano on 30th October; he was 89. He was a man of great humanity, open to discussion, but quite contrary and surly at the same time; always elegant in his ways, without abandoning his mockingly polished tone, he could also be scathingly cutting.

He had a winemaking technician’s diploma, but his great talent lay in his sense of smell (he could judge a wine before it reached his lips) and an uncommon sensitivity, which enabled him to capture the essence of that wine and understand its soul. He particularly loved long-lived whites: André Tchelistcheff, the great winemaker that led California’s wine development, knelt before a bottle of his Pinot Bianco saying that he had never tasted a better one.

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