Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio: Same grape, different wine style

Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio: Same grape, different wine style

Today is International Pinot Grigio Day.

Did you know that Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are two white wines made from exactly the same grape?

Pinot Gris is the traditional name for this varietal, which originated in the Burgundy region of France. Eventually, this varietal made its way to the Veneto and Fruili regions in Northeast Italy, where it was called Pinot Grigio.

The two names for the same grape come from the fruit’s distinct grey-pink colour, with both the French ‘gris’ and Italian ‘grigio’ translating to ‘grey’.

What are the main style differences?

These wines have historically been produced in extremely different styles.

French Pinot Gris is usually associated with a rich, floral and sometimes sweet style of wine, while Italian Pinot Grigio is largely known to be produced in a crisp, light and refreshing style. It is the latter that put this varietal on the map, with Pinot Grigio becoming a household name for crisp, dry white wine lovers around the world.

The main stylistic differences between these wines all have to do with when the fruit is harvested.

In general, Pinot Gris styles are left on the vine for longer producing richer wines with riper fruit flavours. These styles can also be bottled with residual sugar giving a sweet style of Pinot Gris.

Pinot Grigio on the other hand is picked earlier and produces a lighter, more crisp style of wine.

In most countries, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are used interchangeably – understandably causing even more confusion for the consumer.

This is particularly the case in Australia, where wines can be labelled with either name despite the style.

In Australia, as a general rule, Pinot Gris often indicates a more richly flavoured wine with some barrel fermentation and Pinot Grigio reflects a zesty, mineral style with no oak influence.

Strelley Farm Estate 2021 Pinot Gris

The Strelley Farm Estate Pinot Gris is a rich style exuding poached pear, nectarine and floral notes with flavours of red apple, stone fruit and baking spice.

A small portion of this wine underwent fermentation in seasoned French oak, which adds beautiful depth and complexity to the final wine.

For an incredible food and wine experience, enjoy a glass of this Pinot Gris with grilled banana prawns served on a bed of al-dente linguine with chilli and garlic oil.

Evans & Tate 2018 Breathing Space Pinot Gris

This style of wine sits somewhere between a Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio style. It shows rich tropical fruits like lychee, pawpaw and mango with great citrus acidity and a refreshing finish.

The wine was whole-bunch pressed and light lees were included during fermentation to impart texture and mouthfeel to the final wine. A small (10%) portion of the wine was fermented in seasoned oak for six months.

This wine was bottled without fining, which means it is vegan-friendly too!

To shop our Pinot Gris wines online, click here.

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