What Is The Difference Between Pinot Gris And Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio – two terms that are commonly interchanged, but are they truly identical? As a wine lover, I have always been intrigued by the distinctions between these two wines. Therefore, in …

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Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio – two terms that are commonly interchanged, but are they truly identical? As a wine lover, I have always been intrigued by the distinctions between these two wines. Therefore, in this article, I will delve into the realm of Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, examining their histories, tastes, and offering some personal suggestions.

Origins and Production

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio both belong to the Pinot family of grapes, which also includes Pinot Noir. Despite sharing the same DNA, these two wines have distinct styles and characteristics.

Pinot Gris has its roots in France, particularly in the Alsace region. It is known for its rich, full-bodied texture and complex flavors. The grapes used for Pinot Gris are picked when they have reached a higher level of ripeness, resulting in a wine with a hint of sweetness. The French take great pride in their Pinot Gris, producing some of the finest examples in the world.

On the other hand, Pinot Grigio originated in Italy, especially in the northeastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This wine is renowned for its light, crisp, and refreshing style. The grapes for Pinot Grigio are harvested earlier, ensuring a higher acidity and a drier taste. Italy has become synonymous with Pinot Grigio, and it is the most widely planted white grape variety in the country.

Flavor Profiles

When it comes to flavor, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio showcase distinct characteristics that reflect their respective origins.

Pinot Gris often exhibits a range of flavors, including tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, along with notes of ripe pear, honey, and spice. It has a luscious mouthfeel and a lingering finish. The sweetness in Pinot Gris can be balanced with acidity, making it a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

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On the other hand, Pinot Grigio tends to be more citrus-driven, with flavors of lemon, lime, and green apple. It is light-bodied, refreshing, and easy to drink. Pinot Grigio is a popular choice for those who prefer a zesty and vibrant wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with light seafood dishes.

Personal Recommendations

Now that we have explored the differences between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, I would like to share some of my personal recommendations for both wines.

If you are a fan of rich and complex white wines, I highly recommend trying a bottle of Pinot Gris from Alsace, France. Look for producers such as Domaine Zind-Humbrecht or Trimbach. These wines are a true expression of the grape and the region, offering a delightful symphony of flavors.

For lovers of crisp and refreshing wines, I suggest exploring the world of Italian Pinot Grigio. Try a bottle from renowned producers like Jermann or Livio Felluga. These wines capture the essence of Italian winemaking, with their vibrant acidity and lively fruit flavors.


In conclusion, while Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio share a common ancestor, they have evolved into distinct wines with their own unique characteristics. Pinot Gris offers a rich and full-bodied experience, while Pinot Grigio provides a lighter and more refreshing option. Whether you prefer one over the other, or enjoy both depending on the occasion, exploring the world of these wines is a delightful journey for any wine lover.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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