Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular types of wine. Whether you’re having a glass after work, you’re meeting your friends for lunch, or you’re out on the town, pinot grigio is always a great choice.

As a wine, ThinK’s Pinot Grigio is light and delicious - there’s a reason it’s a favourite for many. Read more for information on this wine, including what’s in it, how it tastes, and where it comes from.

 

What Is Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio is a crisp and dry wine that’s light-bodied. The taste is achieved by harvesting the grapes early to retain fresh acidity - if this isn’t done, it’ll be low in acidity and won’t taste like the pinot grigio we know and love.

The date the grapes are harvested can also impact the taste and appearance - especially in a hot summer. Pinot grigio is a grape variety from the pinot grape family - some of which includes pinot blanc and pinot noir. Pinot grigio grapes generally have a grey/blue colour when ripened, which is where they get their name - grigio means grey in Italian.

As pinot grigio grapes ripen, they tend to turn into a pinkish colour - and wines made from grapes that have been left to ripen longer will tend to have a more golden colour.

Pinot grigio grapes are actually a mutation of the pinot noir grape. The grapes produce light white wines, but their skins can be pink or bluey-grey. The grapes don’t stay in contact with the stem and the skins, which produce the pale golden colour we recognize.

Pinot Grigio is a crisp wine that has aromas of citrus, green apple, pear, and honey. It gets its signature ‘zing’ from the fermentation process, which typically takes place in stainless steel tanks as opposed to barrels.

Barrels aren’t usually used when fermenting pinot grigio, as it can raise the product cost and will result in a heavier taste and a vanilla aroma. This won’t create the clean and crisp taste that we love in pinot grigio. Pinot grigio fermented in barrels is pretty much always meant to be consumed within a year or two of harvest for optimal taste.

 

Where Does Pinot Grigio Come From?

The pinot gris grape originated in France, and made its way to Northern Italy over the years where the plant gained popularity. Wine made from these grapes in Italy has always been called pinot grigio - and now Italy is the largest producer of pinot grigio wine in the world.

It’s commonly grown in the North East regions of Lombardy, the Veneto and Friuli, and is imported all over the globe. Italian imports of the wine to the US and UK are very popular, and people love the crisp taste.

The French grape is known as pinot gris, and it’s the same grape as pinot grigio - however, they’re produced in a different style to create different tastes.

Pinot grigio isn’t just produced in Italy and France - it’s produced all around the globe, from Austria to California.

 

How Does Pinot Grigio Taste?

Pinot Grigio is a mild dry wine that has a citrusy flavour. It has tones of green apple, citrus, and minerals - and some brands have a salty flavour.

It’s the wine of choice for many, and is a perfect wine to try if you’re not a big wine drinker. If you prefer a light flavour in your wine, then pinot grigio is a perfect choice. However, if you prefer full-bodied, sweet wines then you may opt for a darker red as opposed to pinot grigio.

Some critics find that pinot grigio has a lack of flavour, but if you choose a bottle from a quality brand like ours, then you’ll find a variety of flavours. Pinot grigio doesn’t have a super unique flavour, but it’s a refreshing drink for any season, occasion, and mood.

Good quality pinot grigio isn’t usually sweet, but some lower quality bottles may be sweeter due to residual sugar from the fining process. If you find a cheap bottle on the shelf, it may be sweet and designed for people who aren’t big wine drinkers.

Pinot Gris from Alsace can be very sweet, but this is intentional due to the flavours of honeycomb and lemon. This must be made from 100% pinot gris grapes, which adds complexity to the wine. When looking for this wine, look for ‘Vendages Tardives” - it’s a late harvest and sweeter dessert wine option.

 

Pinot Gris VS Pinot Grigio

Pinot grigio and pinot gris are two sides of the same coin - they’re made from the same grape, but depending on what region they’re produced, they can taste very different.

You’re likely to find pinot grigio on the shelves of your favourite supermarket - it’s refreshingly light and crisp with flavours of citrus, white peach, and green apple. As it ages, it may take on some marzipan or nutty notes.

This type of wine is typically produced in the mountainous regions of Northern Italy, whereas pinot gris is produced in certain regions of France.

Alsace tends to make light, dry styles as well as heavier, richer styles. The richer pinot gris will typically have hints of ginger, pastry, spice, melon, pear, apricot, and floral notes. Pinot gris also tends to be oiler and unctuous in texture, and noticeably more fruity.

New Zealand batches of pinot gris will feature hints of tropical fruit in minerals, adding a new taste to the classic we love.

In Australia, you determine what wine is pinot gris and what is pinot grigio by whether it follows the French or the Italian style - so essentially, sweeter and richer wines will be called pinot gris and the drier, lighter wines will be labelled pinot grigio.

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