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Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

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What is Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio is a pale, grayish-blue wine grape that makes a refreshing white wine of the same name. Pinot Grigio is originally from France, where it’s known as Pinot Gris. No matter what you call them, Pinot Grigio wines are crisp and refreshing with appealing flavors of citrus, green apples, and white flowers.

Where does Pinot Grigio come from?

Despite its Italian name, Pinot Grigio is originally from the Burgundy region of France, where it’s known as Pinot Gris. The grape was dubbed Pinot Grigio (Italian for gray) when it was planted in Northern Italy, where it has become one of the region’s most prominent white wines. Because of the soil and growing conditions there, Pinot Grigio shows beautiful minerality and floral aromas, balanced with lively acidity and fruit. Some of the most acclaimed Pinot Grigios in the world come from regions including the Veneto, Friuliv and Alto Adige.

What’s the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Gris is thought to be a wild variation of Pinot Noir. Most grapes used to make white wine have pale greenish gold skins. But Pinot Grigio/Gris has a bluish-gray surface, earning it the name, which means “gray Pinot” in French. Besides being enjoyed on its own, Pinot Gris is one of the grapes that can be used to make Champagne, and it’s also popular in the Alsace region of France, where it makes aromatic wines with lush, tropical notes.

How is Pinot Grigio made?

  1. Just like all wine, Pinot Grigio starts in the vineyards where grapes are tended carefully until they’re ripe. Then the grapes are harvested, and the juice is fermented to create wine, aged, blended, and bottled.
  2. The winemaking process starts with picking grapes at the right time when they are sweet and ripe, with enough acidity to make the wine taste refreshing.
  3. The stems are removed from the grape clusters, and then the grapes are pressed to extract the juice, and the skins are thrown away. The juice must be separated from the skins right away for the wine to stay clear.
  4. Next, yeast is added to start fermentation. As the yeast eats the sugar in the Pinot Grigio grape juice, it converts the sugar into alcohol. As it ferments, the grape juice gets warm and bubbles due to the heat and CO2 gas released during fermentation.
  5. White wine can be fermented in stainless steel, concrete, terra cotta, or neutral wood barrels to give it more depth and bring out different flavors and aromas without covering up the Pinot Grigio’s natural characteristics.
  6. Once the fermentation is over, the new wine is transferred to barrels made of oak or stainless steel to age for a short time. White wines like Pinot Grigio have delicate flavors and aromas, and winemakers don’t want to cover those up with extended aging in oak. When the winemaker decides the wine has aged long enough, they perfect the final blend and then bottle the Pinot Grigio for sale.

How does Pinot Grigio wine taste?

Pinot Grigio has a fresh, light, and crisp taste that’s appealing to many wine drinkers. Some of the flavors you’ll find in a typical Pinot Grigio include green or golden apple, white pineapple, lemon, lime, and kiwi with aromas of honey, straw, and subtle vanilla. Pinot Gris wines from the Alsace region of France are made in a different style, so they taste more like tropical fruits, melons, golden apples, and baking spices, and they may have a hint of sweetness.

What kind of wine is Pinot Grigio?

Chardonnay is typically made in a sweeter style than Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio wines are some of the most consistently dry white wines, so they’re a good choice for people following a low sugar or ketogenic diet (yes, Pinot Grigio is keto-friendly). And if you’re interested in Chardonnay with lower sugar, check out our unoaked Chardonnay selection.

However, Pinot Grigio can be very sweet, like the wines from Alsace that are used to make late-harvest dessert wines.

How do you serve Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio is best served chilled, around 50-55 degrees as the optimal serving temperature.

What is Pinot Grigio good with?

Pinot Grigio pairs with a variety of foods; this includes seafood, light cheeses, fried foods, and salads. Pinot Grigio is excellent with Italian cuisine such as Caprese salad, fritto misto, fried calamari, antipasto salad with pickled artichokes, linguine with clams, tomato pasta sauces, and shrimp scampi.

What are the popular brands of Pinot Grigio wine?

Total Wine & More carries all the most popular Pinot Grigio wine brands. With such a wide selection of Pinot Grigios under $20, you can be sure to find a Pinot Grigio that you’ll like.

Some of our most popular brands of Pinot Grigio wine include:

Browse our full selection of Pinot Grigio wines and take home a couple of bottles of the best international Pinots Grigios.

Want to learn more about Pinot Grigio?

Visit our Guide to Pinot Grigio to learn more about the best wines from Italy, California, and around the world.