Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio: What’s The Difference?


What’s the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio? This is probably one of the most asked questions on wine tours by many. Do you even wonder why some wine bottles say Pinot Gris and others Pinot Grigio? And which one should you prefer to the other.

It’s one of the most popular white varieties, but there is still some confusion over the difference between these two wines. In the vineyard, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the exact same grape variety (a white grape, with a grayish / brownish pink skin).

Grigio and Gris are the Italian and French words for grey, respectively. In France, particularly Alsace, bottles of wine will sport the Pinot Gris label and throughout Italy they will be labelled as Pinot Grigio. While French in origin, it is really the Italians that we have to thank for bringing such huge global recognition and fame to the variety.

The grape is the same, but the wines are different. The Italian style Pinot Grigio wines are typically crisp, fresh, lighter-bodied, with vibrant stone fruit, floral aromas and a touch of spice. While Alsace Pinot Gris wines are more full-bodied, spicier, richer and more viscous in texture. They also tend to have greater cellaring and ageing potential.

In Australia, winemakers have the freedom to label the wine as Grigio or Gris. Most winemakers agree that there is a difference in perception between wines labelled as Gris or Grigio. A fresh, drink-now style of wine will probably go with the Pinot Grigio label, whereas a more expensive wine would likely use the Gris label.

As the Australian wine industry matures, it’ll be easier for the consumer to know the differences. Until then, let your palate decide. Our beautiful Pinot Gris is finely crafted from the Adelaide Hills with soft subtle flavours showcasing through a soft golden hue. A delicate drinking wine suitable to pair with light antipasto and tapas style meals.

We’d love to hear from readers on which styles you prefer and some of your favorite Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris wines.
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