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

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Today is Pinot Grigio Day but we’re looking at the French Pinot Gris, a white wine made from the same grape varietal.

Pinot Grigio Day

Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Gris is the French name used for wines made the pinot gris grape. Pinot Grigio is the Italian name used for wines made with the pinot grigio grape. So, while today celebrates Pinot Grigio, it is also worth celebrating Pinot Gris from France.


Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio is also known by a few other names

Pinot Grigio Day
Pinot Gris Synonyms


Pinot Gris grapes

The grapes have a greyish-blue fruit, hence the gris meaning grey in French in the name. That said the grapes can also be brownish pink, black or even white. The word Pinot is likely is the name because the grapes grow in pine-cone shaped clusters.


Pinot gris grapes are thought to be a mutant clone of the pinot noir variety. University of California researchers found it to have a very similar DNA profile to pinot noir. The leaves and vines are so close to each other that the colour is the only aspect that differentiates pinot gris from pinot noir.


Pinot Gris wine

The French style Pinot Gris tends to be sweeter or richer whereas the Italian style Pinot Grigio is drier, and lighter bodied.


Wines made from pinot grigio grapes vary in colour from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink (a winery in Nothern Italy was the first in 1961 to vinify white wine from pink grapes). Pinot gris grapes are also popular for skin-contact wines.


French pinot gris wines from Alsace are known for their strong flavours and relatively high alcohol content. The Alsatian climate and soils bring these characteristics. The cooler climate but warm soils allow the grapes to stay on the vines longer which leads to the development of flavour and sugar.

Where is pinot gris cultivated around the world?

Pinot gris is found all around the world. It has its origins in Burgundy, France in the Middle Ages and spread to Switzerland by 1300. Today Pinot Grigio is mostly grown and made in Alsace, not Burgundy.



Italian Pinot Grigio is found in the Lombardy region  and in Alto Aldige, the northernmost wine region of Italy. The Friuli-Venezi Giulia region also has considerable Pinot Grigio growths.



Germany’s Pinot Gris plantings make up about 1/3 of the total cultivations of pinot gris in the world. They have over 5000 hectares according to a 2008 census.


Australia and New Zealand

As at the 2008 census, Australia had more pinot gris plantings than France. New Zealand’s pinot gris plantings have jumped considerably from just 300 or so hectares in 2003 to almost 2500 hectares in 2019.


Pinot gris is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Moldova, Romania, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.


Where to buy French pinot gris in Australia for Pinot Grigio Day?


European Wine Store sells 3 French Pinot Gris.

Each has quite different descriptions including:


France-Soir Wine Selections has several French pinot gris to choose from for Pinot Grigio Day.

These include a 2000 vintage, some pinot gris grand crus and a dessert pinot gris, all of which are available in its online store:





The French Cellar has one French pinot gris: La Cave D’Augustin Florent Pinot Gris from Alsace.

The tasting note says:

Tasting Notes: Beautifully balanced and splendidly delicious. pronounced flowers of apricots, honey suckle butter and peaches with a long strong finish



Le Plonque has one Alsatian pinot gris: Domaine Anne de Laweiss – Pinot Gris Collection 2016

Of it they say:

Bright and light- yellow robe, delicate nose, fruity with hints of floral notes, this Pinot Gris will surprise you by its freshness, its complexity, and its long finale note

They also recommend the following food pairing: exotic & spicy dishes, chicken, strong cheese.

This pinot gris is only available for purchase in a 6 bottle case for $84 with free delivery.

What’s your favourite pinot gris? Have you ever tried a dessert pinot gris? Happy Pinot Grigio Day!


If you like French wine, you may also like our articles about other French varietals:

Today is International Pinot Noir Day!

It’s Muscat Day! A celebration of the world’s oldest grape

International Viognier Day: an Australian celebration for a French varietal

International Sauvignon Blanc Day: all about sauvignon blanc and which ones to drink

Malbec World Day: everything you need to know and drink

International Riesling Day: everything you need to know about riesling and which to drink

Marselan: A French grape you’re more likely to find in China than in France

Carménère Day: the story of a grape thought extinct



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Pinot Grigio Day