While today may be Pinot Grigio Day 2022, we’re celebrating the French wines made from the same grape, by their French name Pinot Gris. Discover 13 facts about Pinot Gris as well as a recommendation from a French wine importer.
Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio? Pinot Gris is the French name for what is also known as Pinot Grigio by their Italian neighbours. They are the same grape. It’s also known by several other names.
We know that Pinot Gris originated in France. It is widely accepted that it originated in Burgundy, yet some still say it was in Alsace (confusion perhaps because of its abundance there today). Cuttings were transported to Switzerland in the 1300s and onto Northern Italy where it was named Pinot Grigio.
A happy accident Pinot Gris is believed to be a mutation of Pinot Noir! A grape’s colour comes from, among other things, its number of active anthocyanins. Pinot Noir, the original grape has the largest number. On the other end of the scale is another genetic mutation, Pinot Blanc which has inactive anthocyanin. Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio are in the middle with less active anthocyanin than Pinot Noir but more than Pinot Gris.
Pinot Gris grapes Gris means grey in French and is a reference to the colour of the grapes which can be grayish-blue. That said, the grapes can also have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. It grows in small pinecone shaped clusters.
Same grape, different wines Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same grape but their wines are quite different in style. Pinot Gris tends to be sweeter or richer than the Italian Pinot Grigios which are drier and lighter bodied. Alsace Pinot Gris is known for its strong flavours and high alcohol content. The warm soils combined with the cooler climate of Alsace allow grapes to stay on the vines longer which leads to an increase in flavour and sugar development. French Pinot Gris also tend to be oilier than Italian Pinot Grigios. Flavours found in Alsatian Pinot Gris include apple, honey, white flower, mushroom and exotic spice.
Particular wines Pinot Gris is the only grape variety authorised to make a Reuilly rosé obtained through pellicular maceration. But it is also the grape variety of the Coteaux d’Ancennis appellation, where it is known as malvoisie.
A dessert wine Pinot Gris is also used to create late-harvest dessert wines.
Parenthood Pinot Gris is also a parent. In Romania, Pinot Gris was crossed with Feteasca Regala to create a grape called Astra and with Grasa de Cotnari to create Columna. In Greece, it was crossed with Teinturier to create Deckrot.In Germany, it was crossed with Silvaner Gruen to create Freisamer. In Hungary, it was crossed with Pozsonyi to create Gesztus; and with Koevidinka to create Karat. Nosztori Rizling was created by crossing Welschriesling with Pinot Gris.
Pinot Gris in France It may have originated in Burgundy, but you’d be hard pressed (pun intended) to find any Pinot Grigio there now. Today, Pinot Grigio is largely found in Alsace but is also cultivated in the Loire Valley.
The largest plantings of pinot gris are not in France but in Germany, where at the last census, 5042 hectares were planted there compared with 2582 hectares in France.
Australia and New Zealand each have almost as much area cultivated by Pinot Grigio as France. Australia had 2836 hectares and New Zealand 2488 hectares.
Pinot Gris around the world Apart from its homeland France, its adopted land of Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, pinot gris is also cultivated in Argentina, Austria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Moldova, Romania, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.
Pinot Grigio Day It’s been observed annually on 17th May since 2009. Share your pinot gris or pinot grigio on social media with the following hashtags #nationalpinotgrigioday #pinotgrigioday Feel free to also tag us @matildamarseillaise_en on Instagram or @matildamarseillaise on Facebook so we can see what you’re drinking.
PINOT GRIS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PINOT GRIGIO DAY 2022
Last week we told you about the champagne and French wine events at Tasting Australia ’22. Today we’re telling you about the French dining with French wine and French inspired dining events at Tasting Australia ’22.
FRENCH DINING AND FRENCH WINE AT TASTING AUSTRALIA ‘22
For one night only East Terrace hotspot Yiasou George will be trading the ouzo for cognac and the yiros for hors d’oeuvres. The team will welcome their good friends from Sydney’s Restaurant Hubert and let them run wild in the kitchen.
Yiasou George chef Harry Bourne – alongside Restaurant Hubert head chef Alexis Besseau – will collaborate for this one-off event showcasing the best produce South Australia has to offer.
Yiasou George is renowned for using only the best quality, locally sourced ingredients and this event will be no exception. The chefs from both venues will meet directly with local vegetable farmers, fishers and cattle farmers to secure the freshest produce available.
Expect an exciting combination of Yiasou George’s classic Greek stylings with Restaurant Hubert’s passion for Paris. This is a night you don’t want to miss. Liberté, égalité, fraternité – words to truly live by.
Love your pinot noirs and chardonnays? Don’t miss this rare opportunity to taste through premier and grands cru Burgundies from top producers, plus brackets of museum wines from local icons including Ashton Hills, BK Wines and Tapanappa.
Treat yourself to an Old Word New World comparison and discover how producers, vineyards and appellations shape wine. Guests will be joined by Burgundy expert Alexandre Rougeot (of Clos Cachet who features regularly in our French wine varietal articles), who is flying in from Melbourne to join Mount Lofty House wine director Liinaa Berry and guide you through a memorable journey of senses and storytelling.
This lavish six-course dinner at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant will showcase Burgundian producers like Henri Boillot, Samuel Billaud and Hudelot Noellat as well as offering insights on the evolution of local winemakers in producing Australian equivalents of these varieties. Be surprised with some tasty additions of aligoté and gamay.
Food will be curated by head chef Jin Choi and expertly paired by Berry. Expect nothing less than a world-class event in a world-class venue.
Discover a spectacular line-up of iconic Rhône Valley wines – plus some stunning South Australian examples – across a very special dinner. Alkina Wine managing director Amelia Nolan will be joined by Mount Lofty Estate and Sequoia Lodge wine director Liinaa Berry to explore terroir through grenache and syrah.
This elaborate six-course meal at Tasting Australia ’22 is a rare opportunity to investigate how soils influence a wine’s final taste. Your experience will begin with a bracket of white Hermitage from Chave and a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, followed by a bracket of precise, elegant grenache from the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. Compare McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley by entering the realm of Alkina’s micro terroir wines, then discover cult producers like Thierry Allemand’s Cornas from the granite soils of the Northern Rhône, Guigal’s Lala’s from the Côte Brune part of Côte Rôtie, and the exquisite Réserve des Celestins from Henri Bonneau’s famed galets roulés (pebbles) sites.
FOOD WITH FRENCH INFLUENCES AT TASTING AUSTRLIA ‘22
Gin will make its way into every dish on the menu when Madame Hanoi embraces this South Australian specialty spirit.
Teaming up with dynamic duo Lindon Lark and Geordan Ellis from local gin distillery Blend Etiquette, Head Chef Raj Kumar is set to flex his creative muscle with an array of gin-infused French Vietnamese dishes. The first ever Madame Hanoi Gin will be highlighted throughout the night and available for purchase.
This five-course Tasting Australia ’22 event also features an in-house DJ.
South Australia has long been the national engine room for shiraz – a standout source of the full-bodied styles that take Australian wine to the world.
Hearty shiraz from the Barossa has long found fame, though more diverse expressions are increasingly in the spotlight too. These range from the cool-climate elegance of the Adelaide Hills to fleshy and seductive McLaren Vale and structured Clare Valley.
A varietal this iconic needs its own dinner in homage, and trailblazing chefs at the helm. They have three.
One of the three, Annie Smithers is chef and owner of Du Fermier in regional Victoria, where she prepares French farmhouse dishes. She is an author, farmer, and one of Australia’s most highly regarded chefs – among the first to truly epitomise the paddock to plate ethos.
The other two chefs are local Maxwell Wines head chef Fabian Lehmann and Dave Pynt is the chef-patron of Burnt Ends, a modern Australian barbecue restaurant in Singapore’s Chinatown.
Paired beverages will be served alongside all three courses at this Tasting Australia event, with a drink and snack on arrival. Expect a celebration of shiraz in all its richly textured glory, and a meal uniting three of the hottest names in dining today.
Expect four dazzling courses, all paired with the very best bubbles from Australia and further afield, at this 3 hour seated event.
Classic technique will meet contemporary innovation in the three chefs’ creations – now you’re invited to enjoy the magic of their one-day-only menu.
South Australia’s Emma Shearer offers an acclaimed range of bread and pastries through The Lost Loaf, based at Plant 4 Bowden. The opening of this cult favourite followed Shearer’s time as a chef at Adelaide fine diners including The Manse and Magill Estate.
Shannon Martinez continues to revolutionise plant-based cuisine through ventures including Melbourne restaurant Smith & Daughters, where meat-driven dishes are reimagined for rapturous diners. Her 22-year career to date includes publication of three cookbooks. A fourth is imminent.
Former head chef at Sydney’s iconic Claude’s and celebrated author, Singapore-born Chui Lee Luk joins the line-up. Known for her distinctive approach to food, Lee Luk seamlessly fuses French technique with Asian flavours.
Exclusively for Tasting Australia, Cheong Liew OAM will be back at the pass for a four-course meal with paired beverages. Chefs joining him in preparing this dinner are Amy Hamilton, Chui Lee Luk, Adam Liston and Louis Tikaram.
Many chefs taste success. Few change the game. Cheong Liew OAM is one such trailblazer – among the first to introduce Australian diners to the power of fusion cuisine and expand our culinary horizons.
Liew’s first foray into a professional kitchen was an impromptu shift at in The Iliad, an Adelaide Greek restaurant with capacity for 400. It sparked a fascination with food – one that led Liew on to purchase fellow local eatery Neddy’s in 1975. Twenty years later came the opportunity to open The Grange at the Hilton Adelaide, and it was here his creativity reached its full potential. Named among the 10 hottest chefs alive by the US-based Food & Wine magazine, this humble hero lets his dishes do the talking.
Amy Hamilton is the owner of Liberté, an award-winning restaurant and bar in the West Australian city of Albany. The venue dates back to 1852 and has been transformed into one of the nation’s hottest places to dine, with a Vietnamese-inspired menu that ranges from dumplings to profiteroles.
Former head chef at Sydney’s iconic Claude’s and celebrated author, Singapore-born Chui Lee Luk joins this all-star line-up. Known for her distinctive approach to food, Lee Luk seamlessly fuses French technique with Asian flavours.
The Brisbane-based Tikaram returned to Australia after a celebrated stint at Los Angeles hotspot E.P. and L.P. His dishes – influenced by Fijian, Indian, Chinese, Irish and Scottish family heritage – have also featured in restaurants including Longrain, Bentley and Tetsuya’s.
South Australia’s Liston is the chef and part-owner of four Adelaide ventures: Shobosho, Sho, ShoSho and Shomen Ramen. Japanese cuisine remains his muse, with smoke, steam and fire used to impart dazzling flavour.
The 2KW Charcuterie Festival at Tasting Australia 2021 was a hit – so they’re doing it all again. Adelaide’s favourite rooftop destination has teamed up with Adelaide’s premier charcutier, Massi Corrandini from Parma Handcrafted Meats, to create a feast showcasing diversity of charcuterie.
Head sommelier Dan McEvoy has been scouring wines from around the world, looking for the perfect complements to Corrandini’s amazing selection of meats. Sitting eight floors up on King William Street, 2KW’s views are the perfect backdrop for this gastronomic extravaganza. It’s the kind of place where time slows down, burdens are lifted and focus shifts to what’s really important – great food and serious booze.
Tickets to the 2KW Charcuterie Festival includes all food and beverages.