What Is The Difference Between Pinot Gris And Pinot Grigio?

red grapes growing in a vineyward


Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are a wine grown throughout the world under many names and guises. However this greyish coloured grape are the same clone of vitis vinifera and considered a mutation of the variety Pinot Noir. Which explains a little about its skin colour, varying from a grey to a golden hue all the way through to pink tones. 

Are Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio the same?

Yes, technically speaking they are the same but have different names because of the regions they originate from. In France the grape is named Pinot Gris and in the northern reaches of Italy the grape is called Pinot Grigio. Both wines get their name from the colour grey in their native language - gris is grey in French and grigio is grey in Italian. These two names have become the most commonly used synonyms and are used today in Australia at times to reflect a style. 

What does Pinot Grigio taste like?

The primary flavours found in Pinot Grigio are lime, lemon, pear, white nectarine and apple. Therefore this wine is usually considered to be light, dry, and crisp.


France Alsace region vineyard of Pinot Gris grape


Is Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio Sweeter?

In France’s Alsace region (above) the Pinot Gris grape can reach high alcoholic strength and therefore is a prized variety in late picking which creates a sweeter taste than its counterparts. Pinot Gris is normally a dry white wine with flavours of quince, candied pear, ginger and yellow apple which are often described.

In Italy’s Northern regions such as Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige, the grape is typically picked earlier to retain a high acid level and therefore is described with aromas of crunchy pear, green apple, lime zest and blossom characters. It is often said that a Pinot Grigio tastes less sweet than other white wines due to the high acidity mentioned earlier. 

In Australia today we have embraced the grape in all its forms and producers may choose to label either the name Pinot Gris or Grigio to indicate a nod to the style, this, however, cannot be relied upon and so a glance at the back label might be a better indication of what to expect and comes down to the winemaker if you are looking for a sweeter style. 

What food pairs well with Pinot Gris & Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Gris and Pino Grigio is a wine that offers a refreshing fruit-forward taste and bodes well with an array of cuisines. However, it is best to avoid pairing these wines with dishes that have overwhelming flavours like heavy sauces.

Pinot Gris/Grigio is best paired with light summery foods such as salads and seafood. Also great in combination with seasonal summer vegetables and chicken. In addition, many light seafood dishes go well with this wine due to the high levels of acidity.

When creating your next charcuterie board, keep in mind this wine compliments softer and milder cheeses, enhancing their flavours even more.