"Pinot" comes from the French word for pine cone, and refers to the shape of the cluster of grapes. 'Grigio" or grey, refers to the colour of the grapes, which actually aren't 'white'. If the skins of the Pinot Grigio were left on before pressing the juice, you would notice a peachy-grey hue to the wine. Pinot Grigio is a mutation of Pinot Noir and is believed to have come from Germany in the 1700s.
Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio. Same grape, but grown in different regions, each showcasing a different style of wine. While the names can be used interchangeably, often the varietals are associated with where they are from. Pinot Gris is produced mostly in Alsace and Germany, but can also be found in New Zealand, Canada, Oregon and Washington. Pinot Grigio is most at home in northeastern Italy, where the regions of Trentino, Alto Adige and Veneto make this wine a staple.
Further south, in the central region of Abruzzo, Pinot Grigio can also be found, where the grapes tend to ripen a bit more with the warmer climate. The Terre di Chieti IGT is a designation that spans the province of Chieti, where crisp whites (60% of production), and rosé and reds, primarily Sangiovese, are made. Pinot Grigio is not intended for ageing, it is best enjoyed fresh and youthful at 10 C. Salute!
The appearance of Pinot Grigio in your glass can range from quite pale to deep gold. This month's offering is light and lemony in its hue.
Pointed with fresh and clean fruit aromas, however, this varietal is not commonly known to have bold aromatics. Here, we find a combination of pears and apples accented with citrus zest and light apple blossom florals. Be careful not to serve too chilled as the more delicate aromas will be masked.
Pinot Grigio is adored for its light and bright appeal, usually portraying citrus, peach and floral notes. This is a dry wine, flush with good acidity that enhances the salivating flavours of lemon, lime, crunchy golden apple and ripe pear. It is a light bodied wine, but still shows a bit of weight in the mid-palate and finishes with bitter cleanliness. As the wine warms in your glass, riper notes of stone fruit unfold.
A good Pinot Grigio doesn't need a pairing, its easy drinking nature allows it to be perfectly enjoyed on its own. However, Pinot Grigio is a staple you should have on hand for spontaneous salads, pre-dinner appies and creamy cheese & crackers.