Best Australian Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio
Although Pinot Gris and Grigio was planted in Australia in 1980, it has only really become popular in the last decade. Grigio and Gris both mean ‘grey’, but in different languages because Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same grape, just grown and celebrated in different areas of Europe. Grigio, as the name suggests, is the Italian version, grown predominantly in the regions of Fruili, Veneto and Alto Adige. It is generally picked early and produces a fresh, zesty style with some savoury characters. Gris is the French style, cultivated mainly in the region of Alsace. Its general characteristics are of a rich, full-bodied wine with plump stone fruit flavours and some spice.
In Australia, we tend to just call it Pinot G and move between the different styles easily and often.
Read more about Australian Pinot Gris/Grigio
What is the difference between pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris?
To put it simply, they are both made from the same grape variety, but are crafted to produce two different styles. The grape variety is a member of the Pinot Noir family and has two different names thanks to the two countries in which it is most commonly grown: France and Italy. Across the two styles, the common aroma and flavour descriptors include apple, pear, strawberry, honey, brioche and nuts.
The word Grigio is Italian for "grey" and is a light crisp wine ideal for early drinking. Gris is French for "grey" and is generally known for being a rich, full-bodied white with a smooth, silky texture.
Learn more about the different of Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris
Best Australian Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris wine regions
In Australia, the cool climate regions of Mornington Peninsula, Tasmania, Adelaide Hills, Orange, King Valley and Great Southern produce the best Pinot Gris and Grigio. Theyhave the ideal conditions to produce high quality fruit and that allow winemakers to experiment with styles.
Mornington peninsula pinot Gris and Grigio
Mornington Peninsula's superior suitability for Pinot G is down to a combination of regional factors. It is the climate - cool, maritime, Indian summers. It is the cloud cover and sea breezes. The Red Hill and Main Ridge flank creates intimate valleys of rich volcanic soils that hold onto the rainfall. The dryland farming keeps each berry and bunch tiny and concentrated.
Adelaide hills Pinot G
Another standout Aussie Pinot G region is Adelaide Hills where the cool evenings promote great acid retention in the fruit, along with a gradual flavour ripeness without excess phenolic development. This allows the variety to retain a charming aromatic lift, which combines beautifully with the subtle textural elements.
King valley Pinot g
The landscape of Victoria’s King Valley is extremely varied, from the flats of the Oxley Plains to the heights of the Whitlands Plateau, one of the highest vineyard areas in Australia. It is a melting pot for Mediterranean varieties due to its climatic similarity to Italy and Spain making it a top location to grow premium Pinot G.
Orange pinot g
Located in the New South Wales Central Ranges, the Orange wine region has the perfect cool climate and soil types to produce outstanding Pinot G expressions. Its geographical indicator starts at 600 metres and has vineyards at elevations right through the scale to 1200 metres above sea level; Orange is the highest wine region in Australia and ranks among some of the highest in the world. Winemakers have the luxury of cool weather to retain delicate flavours and enough sunlight to achieve ripening.
Best food pairings for Pinot Gris and Grigio
Much of the appeal of Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio is that is such an easy and gentle pairing with lots of foods. Pinot Gris is a lot more versatile than most might imagine. It is a refreshing, versatile wine that pairs really well with light, summery food and ever-popular Italian staples such as pasta and risotto. Light, crisp and fruit forward, Pinot G is also the perfect aperitif wine, with salty snacks and olives, shellfish and oysters.
Best wine glass for pinot g
Choose an all-purpose white wine glass with a long stem with a good-sized bowl so there is plenty of space for the wine to breathe. Always hold the glass by the stem to ensure the bowl is not heated by your hands.
With so many sizes, shapes and styles, choosing the right wine glass can be a little daunting. Check out our guide to wine glasses here