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Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gris
Pink skinned grape variety most strongly associated with Alsace where it is regarded as one of the noble grapes along with Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muscat. This variety is a mutation of Pinot Noir and a cousin of Chardonnay. In the past it commonly grew alongside Pinot Noir in Burgundy where it contributed acidity and roundness to the wines. In the Loire it is found in small quantities where it is known as Malvoisie, and by the same name in Switzerland where it makes profoundly perfumed, opulent wines. In the Alsace it can produce elegant wines that pair well with food as they are not overtly aromatic. Pinot Gris is also becoming immensely popular in Oregan, California, New Zealand and Australia, where some magnificent examples all expressing the variety uniquely.

Pinot Grigio
Is the same variety as Pinot Gris, but known in Italy as Pinot Grigio. Elsewhere in the world growers can decide to call it either one but the name will not allude to a specific style.

Pinot Grigio is extremely popular in Italy where it accounts for 3,500 ha of vines - recorded in 1990. The premier site for production is in the North of the country in Friuli where excellent fruit driven, delicious examples can be found. Bulk production takes place in Veneto, generally at co-op's; the high yielding vines often produce bland and unexciting results.