Grape Varieties O-P Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio Wine

Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for Pinot Gris, a white mutation of the Pinot family. It shares its genetic fingerprint with Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and several other varieties. The term Pinot Grigio has become strongly associated with light bodied wines produced in great quantities, particularly in northern Italy.

The wines are most commonly described as dry white wines with relatively high acidity. These characteristics are complemented by aromas of lemon, lime, green apple and blossoms.

Pinot Grigio grapes can gain a pink-red color approaching that of Pinot Noir

This "everyday" Grigio Italian style is achieved firstly by harvesting the grapes relatively early. This is done in an attempt to retain as much fresh acidity as possible. Otherwise the variety is naturally quite low in acidity. In a hot summer, the picking date is particularly important.

Early harvests can also have a clear impact on color. As Pinot Gris/Grigio ripens it can take on a pinkish color. Wines made from riper grapes can be much more golden.

To retain freshness and "zing", fermentation and storage typically take place in stainless steel tanks. If barrels were used, this would add palate weight and sweet vanilla aromas. This would detract significantly from the clean, simple style, and also raise costs. This type of Pinot Grigio wine is almost always intended for consumption within a year or two of harvest. Extended cellaring is neither required nor advisable.

Northeastern Italy (Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige) is the Pinot Grigio producing heartland. The region exports vast quantities of the wine each year, mostly to the United Kingdom and US.

However, it should be noted that there are also plenty of examples of premium wines from this region. These can achieve a weight and texture comparable to almost any Pinot Gris bottling. The very best wines can get close to the quality of Alsace Grand Cru wines.

In many parts of Italy, the variety is used to make frizzante (semi sparkling) or spumante (sparkling) wines. But it is notably absent from the nation's most serious sparkling style, Franciacorta (where Pinot Bianco is allowed). Meanwhile the most popular, Prosecco, can only feature up to 15 percent Pinot Grigio against 85 percent Glera.

Also, Pinot Grigio is rarely the base of sweeter or dessert wines in Italy. Medium or sweet Pinot Gris is more associated with Alsace, and on a much smaller scale with New Zealand.

Pinot Grigio outside Italy

The refreshing style of Pinot Grigio has enjoyed great success in various countries. It has done particularly well in the United States, (where it is fondly nicknamed "Greej") and Australia.

However, away from Italy the distinction between the two names cannot be relied upon with absolute confidence. Price should be taken into consideration by purchasers if no other information is available. An everyday price may infer an eary picked light bodied wine.

Some wineries in the New World have chosen to produce both Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris wines. These are usually marketed respectively as aperitifs and food wines.

Synonyms include: Pinot Gris.

Food matches for Pinot Grigio include:

  • Goat cheese, rocket & walnut salad
  • Crispy garlic and chili prawns
  • Grilled green-lipped mussels
Production by region Expand/collapse

Most Popular Pinot Grigio Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Region
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Alto Adige - Sudtirol 2,843rd 85 $24
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Valdadige - Etschtaler 4,691st 88 $21
Jermann Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy Venezia Giulia IGT 4,722nd 90 $24
Zenato Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 5,083rd 87 $11
Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio Friuli Isonzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Friuli Isonzo 5,391st 91 $35
Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Colli Orientali del Friuli 7,077th 89 $24
Mario Schiopetto Pinot Grigio Collio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Collio Goriziano 9,220th 90 $22
Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan Tradition Pinot Grigio Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Alto Adige - Sudtirol 9,460th 89 $19
Vigne Il Giardino Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT, Italy delle Venezie 10,546th $7
Vina Baccana Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Friuli Grave 11,358th 86 $14
Kris Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT, Italy delle Venezie 11,723rd 87 $11
Castello Banfi Pinot Grigio San Angelo Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Toscana IGT 12,229th 88 $17
Pighin Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Friuli Grave 12,288th 87 $15
Italo Cescon Il Tralcetto Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Friuli Grave 12,384th 88 $17
Riff Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 12,440th 87 $11
Gaetano d'Aquino Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 13,093rd 86 $7
Foradori 'Fuoripista' Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 13,724th 90 $42
Voga Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 14,302nd 86 $10
Famiglia Cielo dal 1908 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 14,302nd 87 $7
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio Alto Adige - Sudtirol, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Alto Adige - Sudtirol 14,476th 88 $15
Folonari Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 14,846th 87 $6
Bolla Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy delle Venezie 15,042nd 87 $7
Cavit Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT, Italy delle Venezie 15,227th 86 $7
Danzante Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT, Italy delle Venezie 15,664th 84 $10
Attems Pinot Grigio Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Friuli-Venezia Giulia 15,822nd 88 $18
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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