Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are actually the same grape variety. The grape originated in France where it’s known as Pinot Gris, and comes from the Burgundian Pinot family. Over in Italy, it is known 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.
While the grape is the same, the wines are different and have come to infer two different styles of wine. The Italian style Pinot Grigio wines are typically lighter-bodied, crisp and fresh with floral aromas. It pairs well with lighter dishes such as grilled fish, shrimp, and salads. French style Pinot Gris wines are crisp as well, but are fuller bodied more aromatic. They also tend to have greater aging potential. This wine pairs better with richer foods such as stews, chicken casseroles, and hard cheeses.
It has been determined that Pinot Gris has a remarkably similar DNA profile to Pinot Noir and that the color difference is derived from a genetic mutation that occurred centuries ago. The leaves and the vines of both grapes are so similar that the coloration is the only aspect that differentiates the two.
So there you have it. Next time you come across a Gris/Grigio discussion, you’ll be ahead of the game!
Check out our 2014 Carr Pinot Gris.