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Pinot Gris vs. Pinot Grigio – What’s the Difference?

One of the most popular white wine variety produced in Australia and world-wide is Pinot Gris. This dry, light to medium body wine usually features the flavours of apple, pear and lemon. If you are Pinot Gris lover, you surely know everything there is to know about aromas, flavours, and style. But have you ever wonder why some bottles say Pinot Gris and others Pinot Grigio? And is there any difference between the two?

Genetically speaking, there is no difference between the two wines. The grape, Pinot Gris, originates from Burgundy, France. However, in Italy, the same grape is called Pinot Grigio. Although France is where this grape originates from, it is thanks to the Italians that the variety become famous and globally recognized.


But the names are not the only difference between the two wines. The style differs as well.

  • Pinot Grigio: Extremely popular, the Italian style Pinot Grigio wines are usually lighter-bodied with fresh and crisp taste, presenting vibrant stone fruit and floral aromas with a hint of spice. The primary fruit flavours in Pinot Grigio wines are lemon, lime, apple, pear and white nectarine, and depending on where the grapes are grown they can also feature honey notes.
  • Pinot Gris: A more full-bodied wine, Pinot Gris taste richer and spicier and is more viscous in texture. It also tends to have greater aging potential. Pinot Gris wines usually feature the notes of cinnamon, clove, honey, lemon and ginger.

Nowadays, these grapes are not longer limited to France and Italy. Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio grapes have been successfully planted all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, USA, etc., and the results have being an easy-drinking wine

When it comes to food pairing, these wines work differently as well. The lighter taste of Pinot Grigio is better paired with lighter dishes such as grilled fish, shrimp or light appetizers. On the other hand, the rich Pinot Gris taste pairs better with heartier dishes like roast pork, veal shop, rabbit stew, chicken casseroles and also hard cheeses.

Less expensive Pinot Grigio wines are nice, crisp and dry with a neutral flavour. As the price increases, so does the body and flavours of the wines. At their best, Pinot Grigio wines present amazing crisp acidity enriched with loads of citrus flavours and impressive hints of minerals. Expensive Pinot Gris taste wonderfully crisp and are fuller bodied and more aromatic compared to less expensive ones. In addition, they offer extra flavours of tree fruits and even hints of almonds.