Pinot Grigio Wine
Pinot Grigio wine has been a popular inexpensive dry white wine for many years now. The grape variety is the same as the French grape Pinot Gris. Thought to be a clone of the Pinot Noir grape, this variety has a lighter color, hence the name gris which means roughly "grey". While it probably originated in France's Burgundy region, it quickly spread to other regions. In France, Pinot Gris is well known for the wines produced in the Alsace region.
The name Pinot Grigio is simply the Italian translation of Pinot Gris. When a wine is named Pinot Grigio it is generally an Italian made wine, although there are some New World examples that produce the grape in a style more in line with the Italian wines.
Where Is Pinot Grigio Wine Made?
As mentioned above, Pinot Gris is grown in many areas, most notably in Alsace in France. However, Pinot Grigio wines are generally wines produced in Italy. There are many regions in Italy where the grape is grown and used in wine production.
Occasionally, Californian or other producers outside Italy will name wines Pinot Grigio if they are made in a style that resembles the Italian examples.
What Styles of Wine Does Pinot Grigio Produce and What Do They Taste Like?
While the Pinot Gris of Alsace in France are capable of greatness, producing rich, complex dry and sweet white wines, in Italy the style is generally quite different. Actually, it can be shockingly different and one would be hard pressed to recognize that they were the same grape. The large majority are produced in a lighter, fruitier style. Much of its popularity comes from this fact. The Italian examples are often relatively simply and "easy to understand". They do not have high acid, although they are crisp and dry, or considerable mineral flavors which may confuse or be off-putting to novice wine drinkers. They tend to be light, fruity, simple and easy to drink young. They are usually best young and do not need to be cellared.
While these wines have become quite popular with the casual wine drinker for these reasons, they are often ignored by more serious wine enthusiasts. They tend to lack the depth, character and complexity that one looks for in a truly thrilling wine. However, for a simple, light bodied wine without heavy, oak-influenced flavors, the inexpensive Pinot Grigio can make a good alternative to other cheap examples of white wine.
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