Pinot Gris is white wine grape variety. The best-known 'white' variant-clone of the Pinot Noir grape, it normally has a grayish-blue hue to the skin, accounting for its name ('gris' meaning 'grey' in French) but the grape can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The word 'Pinot', means 'pinecone' in French, could have been given to it because the grapes grow in small pine-cone shaped clusters. The wines produced from this grape also vary in colour from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink. The clone of Pinot Gris grown in Italy is known as Pinot Grigio.
Alsace - A major grape variety in Alsace, the Pinot Gris wine produced here are markedly different from Pinot Gris found elsewhere.
The cool climate of Alsace and warm volcanic soils are particularly well suited for Pinot Gris, with its dry autumns allowing plenty of time for the grapes to hang on the vines, often resulting in wines of powerful flavours.
Italy - Pinot Grigio is a popular planting in north-eastern Italy in regions such as Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In Italy, where the grape is known as Pinot Grigio, plantings can be found in the Lombardy region and in Alto Adige, Italy's northern most wine region.
Wines made from the Pinot Gris vary greatly and are dependent on the region and wine making style. Alsatian Pinot Gris are medium to full bodied wines with a rich, floral bouquet. They tend to be spicy in comparisons with other Pinot Gris. While most Pinot Gris wines are meant to be consumed early, Alsatian Pinot Gris can age well. German Pinot Gris (aka: Grauburgunder or Ruländer) can be more full-bodied with a good balance of acidity and slight natural sweetness.
The Pinot Grigio style of Italy is a light-bodied, often lean wine that is light in colour with sometimes spritzy flavours that can be crisp with natural acidity. The style(s) from different wine regions in New Zealand are still to define a unique character. But wines can have a rich, flinty, fruit-forward character (with residual sugar retained for early drinking), and with hints of Lychee and Nashi Pear on the palate, Enjoy.