Guide to pinot grigio/pinot gris
What does it taste like?
Where is it grown?
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.
Pinot Gris grapes.
Where should I start?
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!
Explore pinot grigio and pinot gris