Pinot Grigio vs. Pinot Gris: What's the Difference?

Pinot Gris Getty 10/16/19

It’s not hard to see why there’s confusion surrounding pinot gris and pinot grigio: They come from the same grape variety. Though the two wines share an identical origin, there are a couple things that set the final products apart: 

Related: We Tried Every Boxed Pinot Grigio We Could Find and This Was the Best

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What’s the Difference Between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio? 


The grape is originally from France, where it is cultivated in Alsace and called “pinot gris.” 

In Italy, it is grown in the Lombardy region and called “pinot grigio.”

The two countries produce similar, but slightly different, wines. Pinot gris and pinot grigio wines are categorized based on whether they’re made in the French or the Italian style. 

These days, though, both types are produced in countries all over the world. 


Pinot grigio, undoubtedly the most popular of the two, is lighter-bodied, crisp, clean, and vibrant with citrus flavors, according to Wine Spectator. 

Pinot gris, on the other hand, is sweet, and has spicy tropical fruit aromas. It generally has low acidity, higher alcohol levels, and a rich texture. 

Related: What's the Difference Between White Zinfandel and Rosé?

What Is Pinot Gris (the Grape)? 

Pinot Gris Grapes Getty 10/16/19

Pinot gris is a white wine grape variety that originated in the Burgundy region of France. The fruit ranges in color from grayish-blue to brownish-black. 

Wines that are made from pinot gris grapes tend to be golden yellow, but can be copper or light pink. 

These grapes are also often produced using the skin-contact method, a practice of white winemaking where the skins are not removed. 

The pinot gris grape has been used to make wine since the Middle Ages. Along with pinot noir, it had made its way to Switzerland by 1300. 

These wines are now made in countries all over the world, including France, Italy, Germany, and the U.S.

Most pinot gris wines are meant to be enjoyed early in their lives, but some varieties (particularly those made in the French style) can age well. 


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