On one side of a coin, you have Pinot Grigio, and on the other side, there is Pinot Gris.
But what is the difference between them? They are technically the same as the grapes originate from the same grape varietal. Pinot Grigio is generally used for wines in Italy’s Lombard region, while Pinot Gris is used for France’s Alsace region.
Australia has no governing rules over the use of the name Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris. The names are used to define which wine follows which wine style. So, what is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris? Let us find out.
Table of Contents
- What are Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?
- Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio Wine Regions
- Difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio
- What to look at in Pinot Gris Pinot Grigio Wines?
- Pinot Gris Pinot Grigio: Food Pairings
- Final Thoughts – Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio
What are Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the most popular wines followed by Sauvignon Blanc and Moscato. First, you should gain some knowledge about both the grape varieties before proceeding to their differences.
If you are a fan of a wine having a light structure and leaner style, Pinot Grigio is your choice. The Italian style wine contains flavors of fresh and crisp fruits such as green apple, white peach, and lemon.
With age, Pinot Grigio produces vibrant notes of marzipan or nuts. The wines are often considered mouth-puckering wines due to their citrus and steely acidity.
The name Gris was founded in France by the Burgundian Pinot family, and there it came to be known as Pinot Gris. Due to its French origin, Italians loved the huge fame and recognition of the variety.
The primary flavors of Pinot Gris wine include apricot, melon, and pear, along with floral and spice notes. Pinot Gris is more a fruit-forward, medium to full bodied wine.
Pinot Gris usually has an unctuous and oily texture. The honeyed character of the wine is when it is grown in warmer climates. In contrast, Pinot Gris is well structured in cooler temperatures.
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio Wine Regions
Where do pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio wines come from? What are the popular wine-producing regions?
The stylistic difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris is well-known in Australia. The Alsace Pinot Gris Wines are known for their high alcohol levels and intense flavors. That is because of the climate and soil of the region.
The autumnal conditions of the region enable the grapes to stay on the vines for a more extended period and produce sugar and flavor. Alsace is located on Germany’s border, where the climate is cool; however, the soils are rich and warm, making it ideal for growing Pinot Gris grape.
Both Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are produced in numerous South Australia regions such as Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, and Fleurieu Peninsula. Taylor, Petaluma, and Peter Lehman are three big producers regionally as well as nationally.
Widely grown in Australia’s cooler climate, the wine regions of King Valley, the Morning Peninsula, and Tasmania are the most significant producers. Baily & Baily and Bay Estates are well-known for Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, respectively.
Difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio
The fact that both Pinot Gris grapes and Pinot Grigio grapes come from the same white grape variety with a brownish pink/Grayish color skin. The grape is the same; however, the Pinot Gris wine and Pinot Grigio wine are different.
Alsace Pinot Gris Wines have a vicious texture and are spicier, richer, and full bodied. They have excellent aging and cellaring potential.
Pinot Grigio Wines shows a bright expression of freshness, crisp and light bodied. It contains floral and fruit aromas, hints of spice, and vibrant stone fruit.
When it comes to sweetness, Pinot Grigio is less sweet compared to most white wines due to high acidity levels. The sweet style depends on the wine experts who make the wine. However, Pinot Gris has a complex yet some flavorful hint of sweetness and fruit flavors.
The sweetness also varies depending on the region in which the wine bottles are produced.
What to look at in Pinot Gris Pinot Grigio Wines?
Alto Adige in Northern Italy is responsible for providing the unique taste and flavors in the Pinot Grigio Wines. Alto Adige wine shows delicate aromatic flavor and purity along with intense flavor.
In contrast, Alsace Pinot Gris offers exceptional breadth and richness throughout the palate with earthy terroir and minerality. If you go outside the origin, you will come across Oregon Pinot Gris. The wine combines the rich texture of Alsace wine with vibrant Italian fruitiness.
Pinot Gris Pinot Grigio: Food Pairings
Though there is not much difference in grape variety, their wine does taste different. That’s why you need to know what food item pairs well with Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio goes well with most Mediterranean specialties. The dishes such as Caprese salad, shellfish, antipasti, and fish will pair well with this lighter wine.
You can also pair the wine with pasta dishes having fresh basil and tomatoes as the toppings.
Pinot Gris is heavier than Pinot Grigio as it is full bodied. It tastes heavenly with light meat dishes. You can pair it well with roast organic chicken.
Furthermore, the wine pairs excellent with saucy seafood dishes and Terrine.
Final Thoughts – Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are popular grape varieties and wines in Australia. They are best suited for cellaring, and the wine bottle tastes best when they are opened early.
The wines are fresh and light that favors the coastal Australian lifestyle, light foods, and warm climate.