Even if you’re not a fan of white wine, there’s a good possibility you’ve tried the Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris at some point in your life.
Possibly a light, crisp white wine for a summer afternoon by the pool or something more memorable and robust.
So, what is the distinction between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio? In essence, simultaneously, nothing and everything.
Surprise! They Are The Same But Different
Style-wise, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are opposites. However, they are the same grape variety with various names based on the cultivation country.
This fruit is called Pinot Gris in France. In Italy, the combination is referred to as Pinot Grigio.
Gris is the French term for grey, as grigio is the Italian word for grey. This color designation most likely refers to the variety’s grayish-purple epidermis.
As a black variety Pinot Noir mutation, Pinot Gris skins have fewer anthocyanins than Pinot Noir skins. Thus the grayish hue.
In a third mutation dubbed Pinot Blanc, the anthocyanins of Pinot Noir are inactive. Consequently, the skins of the grapes are pale, like those of other white grape varieties.
Pinot Gris/Grigio has an early spring blossom break and ripens early. Therefore, in temperate regions, it accumulates high levels of sugars and loses acidity if left on the vine for an excessive amount of time. It can lead to wines that could be more balanced and balanced.
Difference Between Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio
Mentioned below are the differences between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Gris – France
This cultivar is native to Alsace, France, where the finest Pinot Gris wines still produce.
Alsatian Pinot Gris is typically dry or off-dry, with robust tropical fruit flavors and hints of ginger and honey.
These wines are more powerful and fatty in texture. Therefore, different from your typical poolside beverage.
In addition, the darker grape skins contribute to the golden hue of the final wine. Consider pairing Pinot Gris with robustly flavored mountain cheeses such as Comté or Gruyère, seared scallops with beurre blanc sauce, or velvety mushroom risotto.
Off-dry wines pair well with piquant Asian or Indian dishes, such as masala chicken tikka or Thai green curry.
Pinot Grigio – Italy
Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located in northeast Italy, produce the highest quality Italian Pinot Grigio.
These regions have Pinot Grigio with greater flavor complexity than Veneto plain ones.
High altitudes and lower temperatures help to prolong the ripening process and preserve acidity in the grapes as they develop flavor.
Additionally, the Pinot Grigio grape clone used in these regions has smaller fruit, resulting in more concentrated flavors.
With Italian Pinot Grigio, you can anticipate a lighter, crisper, and drier style with citrus and green apple flavors.
Pinot Grigio pairs wonderfully with traditional Italian antipasti, seafood salad, light pasta dishes with mussels or shrimp, and even sushi.
Wine Shopping Tips
While Pinot Grigio intends immediate consumption, certain Pinot Gris wines age well. There are also excellent late-harvest sweet Pinot Gris wines.
For the finest quality Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, respectively, you should seek out wines from the regions listed above.
Due to larger yields and earlier harvests, Veneto produces a less complex, more neutral Pinot Grigio.
Friuli’s Collio region has some remarkable Italian Pinot Grigio wines. These are particularly enthusiastic and zesty, with a delicate floral aroma.
Pinot Gris/Grigio also produces in new world nations such as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
When purchasing these wines outside of France and Italy, remember that they are typically designated Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio to indicate the country whose style they emulate.
Also, remember that Pinot Gris/Grigio wines with a higher price tag have likely been oak-aged for added structure.
These will have a greater concentration of fruit aromas but fewer citrus notes.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find it helpful.