Its crisp, light and appealing citrus and tree fruit flavours have made Pinot Grigio one of the most popular wines in the world. However, its popularity has been met with the mass production of a lot of “cheap” versions that have sullied the wine’s reputation. When searching for a Pinot Grigio make sure to avoid these and chose one which has characteristics that helped to make it one of the most popular wines on the planet.
Pinot Grigio was made popular in the Northern Italian regions of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and Alto Adige. It can be bottled and out on the market within four to twelve weeks after fermentation.
Pinot Grigio vs. Pinot Gris
You’ve likely heard that Pinot Gris and Pinot Gris are the same wine. Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the French grape after all. They are made from the same grayish/brownish pink skin grape, however, they each offer with a different style.
If a wine has ‘Pinot Gris’ on the label you can expect a more full-bodied, richer, spicier, and more viscous in texture. It also has a longer aging potential. Grapes destined for Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, are harvested earlier to retain the fresh acidity, and it is this early picking with gives this wine its fresher and lighter style.
A Brief History
Pinot Gris dates back to the middle ages and was discovered in the Burgundy region of France, a (grey) mutation of the (black) Pinot Noir grape. The vines soon spread to Switzerland and were discovered growing in Germany around the 18th century.
It was a popular wine grape in Burgundy and Champagne for several centuries. however, unreliable crops led to a decline in popularity around the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Germany continued to produce Pinot gris due the later development of a clonal variety that allowed for a more reliable crop.
The grape’s popularity quickly spread to Italy, where it flourishes today. It also currently ranks as the third most popular variety in the United states.
Describing a Pinot Grigio
The common words used to describe a Pinot Grigio are commonly “light”, “crisp” and “dry”. The palate is usually crisp, lighter-bodied, fresh, and vibrant floral aromas and stone fruit, but this can vary depending on the climate in which it is grown.
Northern Italian Pinot Grigio tends to have a straw-yellow color while in other locations this can change to a light shade of pink to a deep golden yellow to copper.
Pinot Grigio is a wine best enjoyed when served cold and is made perfect for picnic or a patio on a warm summer day.
Best Pinot Grigio Food Pairings
While there are many unique combinations, the crispness and acidity in the wine generally pairs well with lighter foods such as seafood, light pasta, and cheese and cracker combinations.
Here are a couple of examples from our portfolio:
Pairs with: Asparagus and eggs, ricotta, risotto and gnocchi with pumpkin.
We encourage you to fall in love with our exclusive selection of Pinot Grigio from the world’s best wine regions. The Small Winemakers Collection is an Ontario wine agent. We scour the world for unique and exclusive wines and deliver them right to your front door anywhere in Ontario.