Pinot Grigio Day 2022: 13 Facts about Pinot Gris

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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 Grigio Day 2022- French wine varietal days


  1. 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.


Pinot Grigio Day 2022
Pinot Gris Synonyms


  1. Origins
    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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. A dessert wine
    Pinot Gris is also used to create late-harvest dessert wines.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.



Pierre Stock of Pierre Stock Wine Selections recommends 2019 Domaine des Pothiers Hors Piste.

Why do you recommend this Pinot Gris?

Most of the pinot gris are made in Alsace, this is one is made in Loire Valley in the Cote Roannaise to be exact on granitic soil.

Manual harvest and organic vinification, Hors Piste is aged in 500 litre barrels and can be cellared for 10 years.


How is this French Pinot Gris different to Italian Pinot Grigios?

This is a total different style than the Italian one, much textural and oily


What would you pair it with?

Fish or chicken with creamy sauce.


Can this Pinot Gris be aged?

Yes, for 10 years.


Happy Pinot Grigio Day 2022! Do you prefer French Pinot Gris or Italian Pinot Grigio?



If you like French wine, you may also like these articles:


National Moscato Day 2022: 15 facts about Muscat

International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022: 13 Facts about Sauvignon Blanc

International Viognier Day 2022: 19 facts about Viognier

Happy Pinot Grigio Day – a look at the French wine Pinot Gris

19 facts about Riesling for International Riesling Day 2022

International Chardonnay Day 2021: the grape, the wines and which ones to drink



Cabernet Franc Day 2021: facts and recommendations

Cabernet Sauvignon Day 2021: 15 things you didn’t know about Cabernet Sauvignon

International Grenache Day 2021: Discover 11 things you didn’t know about Grenache to celebrate

World Malbec Day 2022: 19 facts about Malbec

World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

Tannat Day 2022: 23 facts about Tannat



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A year in wine: French wine varietal days of 2021

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We’ve celebrated a lot of French wine varietal days throughout 2021 for varietals that are well-known and some that are lesser-known. Join us as we take a look back through 2021 in wine.

A year in wine - French wine varietal days



There are no days in January dedicated to French wine varietals but New Year’s Day is also Bloody Mary Day – did you know the Bloody Mary was invented in a bar in Paris?

Bloody Mary Day



16th International Syrah Day – the day celebrating the grape known by many names which is also celebrated later in the year under its Shiraz moniker. There’s also an official facebook page celebrating the grape and its day.

French varietal days - Syrah Day



13th International Riesling Day – celebrated on 13th March annually since 2019. This date is also known as Riesling’s birthday because 13 March 1435 is the date of an invoice which is the earliest documented date making reference to Riesling or Riesslingen as it was known in Germany – the heartland of Riesling –  at the time.

Riesling Day



17th World Malbec Day – While very much a French grape, Argentina has made it its own and Wines of Argentina hose 17th April as World Malbec Day in recognition of the day, on which President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry.

World Malbec Day - French varietal days


27th World Marselan Day – The date was chosen to honour the creator of the Marselan varietal , Paul Truel who was born on April 27, 1924.

Marselan Day


30th International Viognier Day – Australia’s Yalumba wines declared the last Friday in April to be International Viognier Day.

Viognier Day



7th International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated on the first Monday in May (but also by some on 24th April)

Sauvignon Blanc


9th National Moscato Day – a celebration of the grape and wines known as Muscat in France and not always sickly sweet like wines by the Moscato name.

International Moscato Day - French wine varietal days


17th Pinot Grigio Day – we took a look at this varietal by its French name, Pinot Gris.

Pinot Grigio Day - French wine varietal days


21st Chardonnay Day – the date changes each year as it is held on the Thursday before Memorial Day in the USA

Chardonnay Day



18th Drink Chenin Day – an initiative of Portland, Oregon winemakers Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe, #DrinkChenin Day celebrates what they call “the greatest white grape varietal on earth”. It’s held on the 3rd Saturday of June each year.

Drink Chenin Day


24th (and or 12th) Rosé Day is held on the 4th Friday in June each year (but also on 12th June).

Rosé Day



22nd Shiraz Day – this was the 2nd annual Shiraz Day which is held on the 4th Friday in July. We took a look at this varietal by its French name, syrah.

International Shiraz Day



18th International Pinot Noir Day – a day celebrating one of the oldest grapes – Pinot Noir is 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon! It is held on 18th August each year.

International Pinot Noir Day


30th International Cabernet Day  – Cabernet Sauvignon gets its annual celebration on 30th August but for some the Thursday before Labor Day in the USA where the day originated.

Cabernet Day



17th International Grenache Day – Grenache is celebrated on the 3rd Friday in September each year.

International Grenache Day



22nd Champagne Day – Comité Champagne have declared that the 4th Friday in October shall be #ChampagneDay. This year we spoke about the types, styles and key champagne terms. As always, we shared recommendations from French wine importers. This is perhaps one of the most popular and celebrated French wine varietal days.


28th International Carignan Day – held on the last Thursday each October, this is one of the lesser-known French wine varietals, Carignan. While the grape is thought to have its origins in the North-Western Spanish region of Aragon, this grape is also found in the South of France, in the Languedocian regions of Aude, Gard and Héraul.



18th Beaujolais Nouveau – celebrated on the 3rd Thursday of November each year, the day heralds the arrival of the new wine from the latest vintage. With COVID-19, there wasn’t any Beaujolais Nouveau 2021 in Australia so we expanded the celebration of the day to include Beaujolais and Gamay.

Beaujolais Nouveau - French wine varietal days


24th Carménère Day – a day celebrating a French varietal you may not have heard of – it was thought to be extinct for a long time. It’s held on the 24th November each year.

Carménère Day - French wine varietal days



4th International Cabernet Franc Day – a day celebrating the grape and wines which are often seen as the feminine version of the more masculine cabernet sauvignon. Held on the 4th each year.

International Cabernet Franc Day - French wine varietal days


16th Pinot Meunier Day – while we didn’t publish an article for this day, it’s worth mentioning that this Pinot Meunier Day is celebrated on the 16th each year.

Pinot Meunier Day

Which French wine varietal days do you celebrate? Cheers to another year of French wine!



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