What is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris?
The grape is the same:
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are identical in the sense that they are made from the same grape. The grape is a a member of the Pinot Noir family and is white with a greyish/brownish pink skin, hence the name Gris (grey in French) or Grigio (grey in Italian).
The wine is different:
While the grape is the same, the names Grigio and Gris have come to infer two different styles of wine. Pinot Gris originates from the Alsace region of France and is typically rich, ripe and full-bodied with spicy tropical fruit aromas and a lovely a lovely silky texture. Pinot Grigio originates from North-eastern Italy, predominantly the beautiful Veneto and Friuli regions, and is picked slightly earlier in the season and therefore shows a lighter, crisp, clean and vibrant expression of the grape, with citrus flavours.
In Australia, the vinification of Pinot Gris often involves barrel fermentation, whereas Pinot Grigio is typically a cold-ferment in stainless steel. This means that Pinot Gris leans towards the more full-bodied end of the spectrum, showing spiced pear and honey, and can boast a higher sugar content than the more mineral, zesty, acid-driven Pinot Grigio.
So, as a taste profile, think of Pinot Grigio as dry, minerally, high acid, crisp and citrus (lime). While, with Pinot Gris think higher sugar, honey, rich, silky and tropical fruit such as nectarine.
Mornington Peninsula and Pinot G:
Known as the leader of Pinot G in Australia, the Mornington Peninsula produces superior quality Pinot G thanks to the cool, maritime climate, sea breezes and Indian summer. The soil, which varies from rich red volcanic soil through to sandy soil to brown clay also assists in creating the ideal conditions for Pinot G.
Adelaide Hills and Pinot G:
The Adelaide Hills is an overall cool climate with various meso-climate created by altitude. The region is very hilly with various valley and sub-valleys and the soil is predominantly grey-brown or brown loamy sands.
King Valley Pinot G:
The King Valley, located at the foothills of the Alpine National Park, is a three hour drive north of Melbourne. It has a continental climate which means warm days and cool nights and is one of the highest altitude grape growing regions in Australia.
Pinot Grigio is one of the newer varieties in the King Valley, producing alpine, Italian style Pinot Grigios that are crisp and refreshing.
At the end of the day, only you can decide whether to go for a richer Pinot Gris or a zestier Pinot Grigio. To help you choose, CellarSpace has an extensive range of Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio for you to explore