So, you’ve started to learn about different wines from your friends. Of course, you know about red vs. white, but what about more specific types? Well, let’s start with a highly recognizable version of wine: Pinot Grigio.
The name “Pinot Grigio” is Italian for “gray pinot,” an apt description of the grayish tint of the grapes used to make the wine.
Most commonly produced in Italy and the United States, Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines consumed in these countries. Here are some important facts about Pinot Grigio.
Which country makes the best Pinot Grigio?
Which country produces the best Pinot Grigio? Of course, that depends entirely on your own tastes. That being said, Italy is the top Pinot Grigio producer. On Liquor.com, out of the website’s twelve highest-ranked Pinot Grigios of 2022, seven were Italian-made.
Different countries actually specialize in different forms of Pinot Grigio. For example, in Italy, pinots can be pretty easy to drink and go down smoothly. However, other countries’ wine versions might taste differently based on the production process.
To start off your adventure with Pinot Grigio, why don’t we start with a smoother Italian brand—one that tastes more like fresh fruit?
Great regions to visit to try Pinot Grigio
There are a number of regions you can visit to try excellent Pinot Grigio. Italy is a safe choice for sure. France is another good bet, particularly the regions of Burgundy and Alsace.
If you find traveling overseas difficult for any reason, though, Pinot Grigio also has a huge market here in the United States. California is America’s biggest wine-making state, and Oregon is also home to a number of important vineyards.
According to VinePair, Pinot Grigio is second only to chardonnay as the most popular kind of white wine. Therefore, Pinot Grigio is a great choice if you’re on the fence about which wine to try first.
Is most Pinot Grigio made in Italy?
Yes, today, the majority of the world’s Pinot Grigio comes from Italy. That doesn’t mean Italy is the only country that makes it, though.
The United States is another major producer of Pinot Grigio, particularly the states of Oregon and California. However, Pinot Grigio was actually first made in northeastern France during medieval times.
From France, Pinot Grigio spread across central and western Europe. However, Pinot Grigio did not see major popularity in Italy until much later, in the 1800s. As a result, the country’s northern regions dominate pinot production today.
Best Italian regions for Pinot Grigio
Northern Italy is the heartland of Pinot Grigio. That much is clear. But where are some of the best regions to enjoy a quality glass of wine? So buckle up, and it’s time to take a trip!
Three regions in the Italian north stand out among the rest. The first, Trentino-Alto Adige, lies just south of Italy’s borders with Switzerland and Austria. Some of the country’s most renowned Pinot Grigio are produced in this tiny province.
The same is true of the Friuli Venezia Giulia (not to be confused with the canal city of Venice), located just to the east of Alto Adige. Here, conditions for grape growth are just right, with rich soil and a temperate climate influenced by the mountains and the sea.
The sub-region of Collio Goriziano also features local varieties of grapes not commonly cultivated in other parts of the world. Located in the northern half of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Italian government designates Collio as its own wine region.
Pinot Grigio is its most cultivated wine grape. With such favorable local conditions, there’s no place quite like Italy for Pinot Grigio.
Final thoughts on Pinot Grigio
With our tour coming to an end, let’s review some of the information available on Pinot Grigio. Meaning “gray pinot” in Italian, this wine has roots going back to medieval France.
Italy is now the world’s largest producer and exporter, with American West Coast states and Australia following behind. Some wine drinkers might describe the taste of Pinot Grigio as somewhat tart yet easily drinkable compared to denser wines.
All in all, Pinot Grigio is a great option to start with if you’re just getting into the wine scene.