Grape varieties

Pinot gris/grigio: The ultimate grape guide

What does it taste like?

  • White Peach
  • Almond
  • Grapefruit
  • Ginger
  • White Flowers
  • Apricots

Where is it grown?

Pinot Grigio

  • Northern Italy

Pinot Gris

  • Alsace
  • Germany
  • New Zealand
  • Hungary

What style of white wine is pinot grigio?

As you've probably guessed, pinot grigio and pinot gris are exactly the same grape, but each region produces a very different style.

Pinot grigio is the supermarket staple we're all probably most familiar with; from the mountainous regions of Northern Italy this grape is charmingly light and fresh with mouthwatering citrus, peach and floral aromas. It's brilliant drunk on its own as an aperitif or with salads and creamy cheeses.

What style of wine is pinot gris?

Now this is a quite different beast altogether. Alsace makes both lighter, dry styles (think apricot and peach with a hint of smoke and well-balanced acidity) and richer, more opulent 'late-harvest' styles. As well as ripe orchard fruit flavours, these tend to have a hint of ginger, with pastry and buttery flavours developing with a bit of age.

In New Zealand you'll find splashes of tropical fruit and mineral complexity in some of the more premium bottles.

Where should I start with pinot grigio/pinot gris?

Each style of this chameleonic grape has its place. Everyday pinot grigios are a great place to start for simple, fresh, fruity white wines for easy drinking.

When it comes to pinot gris it's worth seeking out bottles from New Zealand or dry Austrian styles if you're after a rich but food-friendly white for the dinner table. Spending a bit more will result in more complexity with flashes of flint and spices and normally softer acidity from a bit of bottle age.

Want to venture into more opulent, off-dry styles? Look for vendange tardive or sélection des grains nobles on the bottle and expect to pay a fair bit more for the gorgeous butterscotch, apple tart and ginger-spice flavours within!

View pinot gris wines

Rosie Allen

The Society's Brand Marketing Manager

Rosie Allen

Rosie joined the team in 2016 and oversees all our content including 1874 magazine and Discovery pages.

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