Together with its sparkling counterpart Prosecco, Pinot Grigio is arguably one of the very most popular Italian wine styles, a classic refreshing and zesty white, perfect for easy enjoyment and on warm summery days.
The style is in fact the second most popular white wine in America, especially in the United States, although it has known a global success as well.
Here you will find answers to the most common questions about the grape and the wine, essential facts you should know about this favorite type of vino, as well as many names of tasty, famous and popular Grigios.
1- Is Pinot Grigio only from Italy? Where is Grigio From and Where is it Made?
While the Pinot Grigio wine style most probably originated in Italy, the grape variety itself (the type of grapes the wine is made from) was in fact born in Burgundy, France.
The Gris (French for ‘grey’) Pinot, like Pinot Blanc is a mutation of the red grape Pinot Noir. The skin of Pinot Gris grape has a distinctive grey-ish, slightly-pink color, hence its name.
In line with their descriptive precise naming habits, the Germans call it Grauburgunder, or ‘the grey grape from Burgundy’.
When growing the grape in Italy, the Italians translated its name quite simply into Pinot Grigio.
The typical Italian Grigio, light, crisp, and floral wine style was certainly invented and became popular in Italy, particularly in the cooler Northeastern parts of the country, mainly the Veneto, but also Lombardy, Friuli, Trentino, and Alto Adige.
This style of white became so popular among wine drinkers worldwide that many other countries joined the Pinot Grigio craze and started producing it.
2 – What’s the Difference Between Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris?
As we’ve seen, the grapes making Gris and Grigio are virtually the same, but the wines are different… They differ in style.
Pinot Gris wines are generally made from riper grapes exposed to the sun for longer. Despite its Northern location by border with Germany, Alsace is one of the very sunniest wine regions in France.
The resulting Pinot Gris wines are fuller-bodied, drier, richer, and they feature more notes of tropical fruits that their Italian Grigio cousins.
By contrast, Pinot Grigio wines are light in body, mild in flavor, crisp and sometimes slightly sweet or off-dry, and displaying subtle floral or delicately fruity notes (see aroma and flavor profiles of Pinot Grigio below).
Pinot Grigio wines are not meant to be aged therefore drink them within 1-2 years after harvest/vintage. Grigios are often bottled under a screwcap closure to maintain their freshness and zestiness of their delicate flavors.
3 – How Does Pinot Grigio Wine Taste? Flavor Profile of Pinot Grigio
In other words, what does a good Grigio taste like? Many do wonder indeed: “Is Pinot Grigio A dry white wine?”
As the infographic below summarizes, Pinot Grigio wines are pretty much invariably:
But what do Pinot Grigio wines smell like? you may wonder.
Or, what are the typical aromas of Pinot Grigio?
4 – Aroma Profile of Pinot Grigio
Being a wine style made from fresh grapes that have not reached a high level of ripeness, aromas found in Pinot Grigio are subtle, and reminiscent of delicately-scented produce such as:
- Citrus: Lime, Lemon
- Pipfruit: Apple, Pear
- Stone fruit: white peach, nectarine
- Floral: Orange Blossom, Elderflower, Honeysuckle
- Herbal: Acacia Leaf, Mint, Fennel
- Other Aromas: Almond, Ginger, Honey, White Pepper
5 – Pinot Grigios We’ve Liked to Taste Here at Social Vignerons
Here are a few Pinot Grigio wines we’ve tasted and reviewed… and liked. Ones we are happy to recommend.
Possibly one of the very best, most concentrated and refined Grigio I’ve ever tasted. Somewhat far from the expected simple and approachable style, Giusti’s PG is “A Pinot Grigio that delivers in one single wine, both the easy-to-enjoy Grigio appeal, and the depth of flavors and length of a more refined and noble wine.” Read the full review through the link below.
If you like your Grigio to be organic and tasty at the same time, Corvezzo’s Terre di Marca is a clean and bright fruity wine, dry and mineral yet balanced that examplifies what a good approachable yet seriously-well-made Grigio should be. Read more through the link below.
Another good organic example from Italy:
And an affordable but precise wine and a steal if you live in the UK:
For a non-Italian new-world example:
6 – What is a good Italian Pinot Grigio? Top 20 Most Popular Italian Pinot Grigio Wines
Popular doesn’t always mean ‘good’, or does it?
In any ways, popular somewhat means ‘broadly appreciated and drunk’, so it must mean ‘not too bad’!
We gathered below al list of 20 of the most globally popular Italian Pinot Grigio wines, many of which you will commonly find on many wine merchants’ shelves.
1 – Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Alto Adige
2 – Jermann Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT
3 – Zenato Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
4 – Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige DOC
5 – Voga Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
6 – Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
7 – Kris Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
8 – Pighin Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave DOC
9 – Alois Lageder ‘Riff’ Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
10 – Gaetano d’Aquino Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
11 – Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio, Trentino-Alto Adige
12 – Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio Friuli Isonzo DOC
13 – Torresella Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT
14 – Castello Banfi Pinot Grigio San Angelo Toscana IGT, Tuscany
15 – Cavit Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
16 – Bolla Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT
17 – Cantina Zaccagnini il vino ‘dal tralcetto’ Pinot Grigio Colline Pescaresi IGT, Abruzzo
18 – Venica & Venica Jesera Pinot Grigio Collio
19 – Marco Felluga Mongris Pinot Grigio Collio
20 – Cantina Tollo ‘Villa Diana’ Pinot Grigio Terre degli Osci IGT, Abruzzo
The above list of wines is a list of the most popular, or at least the most searched-for Italian Pinot Grigio wines according to Wine-Searcher, the wines consumers most often look for to buy or check the price of on the site.
7 – Other Popular International Grigio Wines
Because as we’ve seen, Pinot Grigio is NOT only made in Italy, and the style has been popular around the world and emulated by many wineries in all major producing countries, there are many famous and popular international Grigios including the followings, very prevalent on Wine-Searcher.
1 – Canyon Road Pinot Grigio, California, USA
2 – Sycamore Lane Pinot Grigio, California, USA
3 – Giocato Pinot Grigio, Goriska Brda, Slovenia
4 – Trinity Oaks Pinot Grigio, California, USA
5 – SkinnyGirl Pinot Grigio, California, USA
6 – The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio, California, USA
7 – White Girl ‘Family Time is Hard’ Pinot Grigio, California, USA
8 – Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Pinot Grigio, California, USA
9 – Concha y Toro Trio Reserva Chardonnay – Pinot Grigio – Pinot Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile
10 – Coastal Vines Cellars Pinot Grigio, California, USA
11 – Sequin Delicately Bubbled Pinot Grigio, California, USA
12 – Three Thieves Bandit Wines Pinot Grigio, California, USA
13 – Vista Point Vineyards Pinot Grigio, California, USA
14 – Mark West Pinot Grigio, California, USA
15 – Avia Pinot Grigio, Slovenia
16 – T’Gallant ‘Cape Schanck’ Pinot Grigio, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
17 – Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio, California, USA
18 – Ferrari-Carano Pinot Grigio, Russian River Valley, USA
19 – Channing Daughters Ramato Pinot Grigio, Long Island, USA
20 – Movia Sivi Pinot – Pinot Grigio, Primorska, Slovenia
21 – Campanula Pinot Grigio, Etyek-Buda, Hungary
22 – Marjan Simcic Pinot Grigio – Sivi Pinot, Goriska Brda, Slovenia
23 – Jacob’s Creek Classic Pinot Grigio, South Eastern Australia
24 – Beaulieu Vineyard BV Coastal Estates Pinot Grigio, California, USA
25 – Gnarly Head Wines Pinot Grigio, California, USA
26 – Copper Ridge Vineyards Pinot Grigio, California, USA
27 – Douglass Hill Pinot Grigio, California, USA
28 – Swanson Vineyards Pinot Grigio, Sonoma Mountain, USA
Related Read, About Organic Pinot Grigio
If you like or prefer your vino to be an organic wine, because you believe they taste better, or simply because you think they are better for the environment, we have asked our winemaker and winery-owner friend Giovanni Corvezzo to tell us more about his experience with converting a vineyard to organic viticulture.
Read the article through the following link or tap on the image below: What It Takes to Make Organic Prosecco & Pinot Grigio: Interview with Giovanni Corvezzo