Is There A Difference Between Pinot Gris And Pinot Grigio Wine?

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Although pinot gris grapes can be grown in various places, most winemakers will label their wines based on which style they more closely align, either as a French (Alsace) pinot gris or an Italian (Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige) pinot grigio. That said, where pinot gris tends to be medium to full-bodied with plump richness, Wine Spectator explains that pinot grigio is generally light-bodied and crisp.

Given that most pinot grigio is harvested early to preserve a high level of acidity, MasterClass explains that the wine boasts a freshness that recalls pear, apple, and stone fruit. In contrast, pinot gris offers lower acidity and higher sugar levels, resulting in spicy notes and honeyed nuances when left to ripen fully. Unsurprisingly, this level of complexity makes a pinot gris more adept for barrel-aging (via Usual Wines) and even cellaring compared to a pinot grigio.

However, it’s important to remember that these generalizations aren’t always accurate. For example, while pinot gris is usually dry, Wine Enthusiast explains that it can also be used to make late-harvest wines labeled vendanges tardives. Likewise, a seemingly simple pinot grigio can boast quite a bit of depth when left to macerate in a “ramato” style, shares Decanter – taste the difference for yourself, and prepare to be amazed!



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