The Difference Between Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris

Aug 16, 2021

Lots of wine drinkers get confused about the subtle differences between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris. 
A woman at a winery

You would be forgiven for thinking that Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the different names for the same wine. In fact, technically, you would be correct, as both Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris refer to a greyish-purple grape.
But, while the two wines have a grape variety in common, there are actually a few key differences to look out for.

The first difference is the style of wine making. Pinot Grigio, is traditionally produced in Italy and Pinot Gris, is traditionally produced in France, so the wine making methods used reflect those countries.
For example, Pinot grigio typically comes from north-eastern Italy (predominantly the Veneto and Friuli regions) and is picked slightly earlier in the ripening season, making the wine crisp and refreshing.

A woman sipping non-alcoholic Pinot Grigio

Meanwhile, Pinot gris, hails from the German-speaking French region of Alsace, which is the Vosges Mountains and the German border in the departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin. Pino Gris is  richer, riper and has a silkier in texture.
There are some differences in flavour profile that arise from the different wine making methods used.
Pinot Gris is typically a fruity, medium to full-bodied wine featuring melon, pear, and apricot as well as subtle floral and spicy notes.
Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, tends to be lighter in structure, featuring crisp fruit flavours such as citrus, lemon, white peach and green apple.
When Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are made outside France and Italy, in Australia for example, wine-makers can put their own stamp on the wine. However, Gris vinification often involves barrel fermentation, whereas Grigio is typically a cold-ferment in stainless steel.

A vineyard

This means that Gris leans towards the more full-bodied end of the spectrum, and features flavours such as spiced pear and honey, while Grigio tends to feature more zesty flavours and acidity.

Guide to non-alcoholic Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris 

Plus & Minus Pinot Grigio

The blurb: South Eastern Australia, wine makers Plus and Minus use traditional winemaking techniques to craft their wine, and then gently removing the alcohol

The taste: This full-bodied, vibrant Pinot Grigio has aromas of apple, pear and citrus

Worth noting: This wine has added grape seed extract, giving it more antioxidants than traditional wine. It's also Vegan and low in sugar and calories. 

Dr Zenzen Pinot Grigio


The blurb: Dr Zen Zen wine comes from the historic Einig-Zenzen winery in Germany. 

The taste: This Pinot Grigio is light-bodied, and has a nose of citrus from lemon and limes as well as peach and apricots which are well balanced with a long, dry palate. 

Worth noting: Less than 5g of sugar and 25 calories per 100ml 

Edenvale Pinot Gris

The blurb: Edenvale were the first dedicated alc-free winery in Australia.  

The taste: This well-balanced Pinot Gris is vibrant, juicy and bursting with the mouth-watering flavours of ripe stone fruit, poached pear and apricot. 

Worth noting: Only 3.5g of sugar and 16 calories per 100ml.

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