Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio is one of the white wine grape varieties, mostly consumed in Italy. It is also known as Pinot Gris, the crop grows in small cone shaped clusters, which is why the word Pinot Gris comes from a French term meaning “ grey pine cone”. The grape usually has brownish pink or white appearance.

Pinot Grigio History

Pinot Grigio was one of the most popular grape varieties during the 20th and 21st centuries. It was known for being planted in Burgandy, during the middle age, where it is believed it was called Fromenteau. From there it spread to Switzerland in 1300. It is said that it was one of the favorites of Charles IV, who used to import cuttings to Hungary. The crop had poor yields in areas like Burdgundy and Champaigne. In Germany, the exact same happened, but the vine breeders in the early 20th Century managed to develop clonal varieties that produced more steady and reliable crop. It was introduced in Australia in 1832 when a collection of this variety was brought in by James Busby. This variety is in abundance in Victoria, and they grow fairly well in other states as well. Australian wines made out of this grape are usually called Pinot Gris and the drier wines are called Pinot Grigio. People believe it is very similar to another variety of grape known as “Pinot Noir”, it is thought to be its mutant clone. It is also one of the greatest varieties used for orange wine.

Pinot Grigio Regions

Pinot Grigio varies greatly in terms of regions and wine making style. The reason why this grape has two names is because of the spectrum of styles that can be made from this grape. Though both kinds are made from the same grape but Pinot Gris comes from the Alsace region of France is a full bodied wine with a rich and spicy tropical fruit aroma. Pinot Grigio in northeastern Italy has a light crisp as well as a tropical fruit flavor that gives a vibrant expression of the grape. So basically the winemakers name the wine that best fits its style that is Alsatian or Italian. Pinot Grigio is known for varying in its shade, sometimes displaying darker tones from black to white and sometimes it is deep golden yellow or copper color, or even a light shade of pink. The flavor of this grape is often described as having a smoky, floral with a tint of honey and a minor citrus kick. Pinot Grigio is a dry, crisp white wine that is high in acidity and it comes with different range of tropical or citrus fruit flavors. The texture is smooth as silk, has a balanced body with hints of pineapple, grapefruit and spice that carry through to give that nice crisp flavor.  It is one of those wines that are best consumed young; it is bottled and is out on the market within 4-12 weeks after fermentation.

Pinot Grigio Pairing

Pinot Grigio is best paired with light sea food, chicken breast dishes as well as not so creamy pastas and cheese crackers. The wine is high in acid, so stay away from foods that are already acidic such as citrus fruits, red meats like beef and lamb or dishes that use tomatoes as the main ingredient. Moreover the Pinot Grigio from Alsace is richer, which is best paired with almonds, spice and sometimes honey. Also creamy pastas and smoked foods. You do however want to keep Pinot Gris away. Due to high acidity ratio, it is a dry white wine; Pinot Grigio will not be able to handle red meat, or even sweet dishes.