Cépage Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris Wine

1 product

You may know it as Pinot Grigio, but whether this grape variety takes on its French identity as Pinot Gris or dons its Italian name, you’re in for a ride. While the grigio is the quintessence of crisp, light, citrus fun, the gris from the Alsace region of France is medium to full-bodied, smokey and spicy. Depending on where it's grown, this Pinot can be dry or sweet. Generally speaking, its aromatic plate is full of citrus fruit, grilled almond, or vanilla. So what are you waiting for? There’s nothing better than tasting different Pinots to discover the regions of the world.

    1 product

    Pinot Gris Wine

    Origin and History of Pinot Gris

    Pinot Gris, known as Pinot Grigio in Italy, is a grape variety with Hungarian origins. It finds its roots in the Tokaj region of Hungary, where it was initially cultivated before making its way to Burgundy, and then to Alsace. This grape variety was once called Tokay in Alsace, a designation that was abandoned following a restriction on the use of the name "Tokay" to exclusively refer to wines from Tokaj in Hungary.

    The term "gris" in Pinot Gris refers to the unique color of the grape berries, which are generally gray pink. This name derives from the color of the grapes, which can range from bluish gray to slightly coppery pink, contrasting with other members of the Pinot family.

    Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio: Terroirs and Philosophies

    Alsatian Pinot Gris is renowned for its rich and complex aromas, often cultivated on varied terroirs that impart a distinctive minerality and great depth. In Alsace, it is often vinified into sweet or dessert wines through late harvests or noble rot, giving it an incomparable aromatic richness.

    In Italy, particularly in the regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige, Pinot Grigio is vinified in a lighter and fresher manner, producing dry, crisp, and fruity wines. The soils and climate of these regions give Pinot Grigio a refreshing acidity and notes of white fruits and citrus.

    Winemaking Philosophy and Price

    The winemaking philosophies between Alsatian Pinot Gris and Italian Pinot Grigio diverge significantly. In Alsace, the focus is on complexity and richness, often with some aging on lees and sometimes malolactic fermentation, resulting in fuller-bodied and structured wines. In Italy, the emphasis is on freshness and purity of aromas, with fermentation at low temperatures to preserve the liveliness of the fruit. Consequently, Italian wines are often lighter and more accessible.

    The price of Alsatian Pinot Gris often reflects this complexity and richness, with bottles reaching high prices for the most prestigious crus. The price of Italian Pinot Grigio is generally more affordable, with a wide range available for everyday consumption, though some renowned producers may also offer premium cuvées.

    Other Cultivation Regions

    Besides Alsace, Pinot Gris is also cultivated in the Loire region, where it is known as Malvoisie, notably in the Coteaux d'Ancenis. This wine offers a lovely alternative with ripe fruit aromas and refreshing qualities.

    In the United States, Oregon is a prominent region for Pinot Gris. The vineyards in this area produce wines with a beautiful balance of acidity and fruitiness, often compared to the best wines from Alsace.

    In Hungary, Pinot Gris, often referred to as Tokaj, continues to play an important role in local wine production, with wines presenting a rich and diverse aromatic palette influenced by the volcanic terroir of the region.

    Pinot Gris Rosé and Pinot Grigio Rosato

    Pinot Gris rosé, also known as Pinot Grigio Rosato in Italy, is a variant of winemaking where the juice from the grapes macerates briefly with the skins, giving the wine a delicate pink hue. This wine is ideal as an aperitif, offering aromas of red berries and a seductive freshness.

    Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio, is a fascinating grape variety with multiple facets and varied origins. Whether known as Tokay from Alsace, Malvoisie from Coteaux d'Ancenis, or Tokaj from Hungary, this grape offers a diversity of styles and flavors that captivate wine enthusiasts worldwide. Its adaptation to different terroirs, whether in Alsace, Italy, Oregon, or elsewhere, demonstrates its ability to produce exceptional and varied wines, ranging from light and fresh to rich and complex. The prices of Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio reflect this diversity, allowing everyone to find a wine to their taste and budget.