Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio. The simple explanation.

Posted by David Bowley on

Same grape, different taste.

That’s the short simple answer.

Were you already aware of that? Well here’s the slightly expanded version.

Pinot Gris, as it’s known in France, and Pinot Grigio, as it’s known in Italy, are the same grape. Genetically, they’re identical twins. But, when it comes down to drinking them, these twins are about as different as Mark and Steve Waugh at the batting crease [excuse the cricket analogy].

Pinot Gris is Mark Waugh. Flamboyant, stylish and outgoing.
Grown in the Alsace region of Northern France, Pinot Gris is known for its fruity and sweet characters, and textured mouth feel. Check out our PG/15 Pinot Gris here. 

Pinot Grigio is Steve Waugh at the crease. Austere and reserved.
Not immediately showing off its finesse, Pinot Grigio is known for its mineral characters on the palate and a lighter feel in the mouth, making it a perfect palate-cleansing aperitif.

How can the same grape, grown in roughly the same part of the world, produce two different drinking experiences?

Climate and soil come into it, but harvesting is key as well. Italian wine makers tend to harvest Pinot Grigio before it reaches full ripeness. This means youthful acids are retained, making for a zesty, refreshing wine. Meanwhile, over in France, local winemakers are more laid back. They harvest riper grapes that have soaked up plenty of Alsatian sun. This is reflected in a more full-bodied wine with fruit depth on the palate.

When it comes to these wines made in Australia, the rules are somewhat blurred. Those in the know will tell you many Pinot Grigio wines out there are actually more 'Gris-like'. It's true. But stick with us small producers and you'll be in safe hands. 

So the next time you find yourself in the Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio debate, bring out the Waugh brothers analogy and smash their argument for six.

Pinot Gris Wine Facts

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