The Pinot Grigio Grapes Guide That Finally Explains It All

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Pinot Grigio is a wine you have surely tried and enjoyed before, along with tons of other people both now and in history. 

There has to be a reason this wine has been around so long and continues to be popular today. Well, it all comes down to the grapes used to make these wines! 


Ever Wondered About the Specifics of Pinot Grigio’s Grapes?

Have you ever sipped a crispy Pinot Grigio and wondered just what kind of grapes make this delicious wine? Well, you aren’t alone!

Even though just drinking your wine can be enjoyable, truly understanding what goes into crafting this delicious beverage can make you appreciate those subtly fruity aromas even more. 

Pinot Grigio is a wine enjoyed by many for decades, so if you are a lover of wine, then let’s dive into the details of just what makes this wine a must-have. 

A bunch of grapes - The Pinot Grigio Grapes Guide

What grapes are in Pinot Grigio wine?

Pinot Grigio wine consists of not-surprisingly Pinot Grigio grapes, which come from a large family of grapes called the Pinot family. 

Their original predecessors are the Pinot Gris grapes from France. To put it simply, they are the Italian replicas of the French Pinot Gris grapes. Pinot Grigio grapes are actually a mutation, but don’t let this fool you. 

When it comes to wine grapes, a mutation isn’t necessarily a bad thing but just hints that this is a variant of a different grape. 

For example, Pinot Grigio grapes are usually found in north Italy vineyards. They are harvested earlier than their French relatives to maintain acidity, which gives their wines that well-known fruity flavor. 


Can you eat Pinot Grigio grapes?

The straightforward answer to this question is yet, but keep in mind that wine grapes like Pinot Grigio usually taste different from what you are used to. 

These grapes are grown and bred to be used for wine, so they aren’t designed to be consumed casually. That said, they are still very delicious and can be eaten. Pinot Grigio grapes are usually sweeter and more acidic than regular snack grapes. 

Unlike many other wine grapes, Pinot Grigio grapes have thin yet chewy skin, so you will have no difficulty biting in. 

These grapes are also smaller than what you will be used to seeing, will contain bigger seeds, and the pulp (what’s inside the grape) is softer and juicier, so don’t expect any crunch. 

If you notice some spiciness while eating Pinot Grigio grapes, just know that you are definitely eating Pinot Grigio grapes!


What are the parent grapes of Pinot Grigio?

As mentioned above, Pinot Grigio grapes are from the Pinot family, which includes:


  • Pinot Blanc
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Meunier
  • Pinot noir
  • Pinot Noir Précoce


Pinot Grigio grapes specifically are a mutation of the Pinot Gris branch. Historically, Pinot Gris originates from the Burgundy region in east-central France. 

It was a very popular wine grape and spread to Switzerland, Hungary, and other areas in Europe, including Italy, where it became Pinot Grigio. Emperor Charles IV loved this grape so much that he would repeatedly organize imports of it to Hungary for planting. 

Many years later, it was also found growing in the wild in Germany and was used to make a wine called “Ruländer.” 

Of course, the Pinot Gris used for wines today aren’t exactly the same as those Emperor Charles loved since they have been bred to grow in different conditions, but the core flavors remain the same. 

French Alsatian Pinot Gris wines have some spicy and floral flavors that won’t be found in other variants of this wine, while German Pinot Gris is more full-bodied and sweeter in comparison. 

Pinot Gris is also widely grown and loved in California, where it’s lighter and has slight hints of pepper and even arugula. 


Interesting Facts About Pinot Grigio Grapes


  • The history of Pinot Grigio is as old as time. Its parent grape has been around since the 1300s and has traveled all over the world before finally making it to Italy. 
  • The fact that it’s been loved for so long by everyone ranging from emperors to merchants, means there is something special about it. 
  • Pinot Grigio comes in all sorts of flavors like citrus, apple, pear, nectarine, orange blossom, honeysuckle, herbal aromas like fennel and mint, and even some with hints of ginger, honey, and white pepper. 
  • It’s a highly versatile wine that tastes different depending on where the grapes were harvested and where the wine was made. In hotter regions, the citrus flavors along with green apple are expressed. 
  • Pinot Grigio from colder regions is less sweet and more crispy.  
  • To be as sweet as it is, Pinot Grigio grapes are among the very first harvested during the season. This helps the wine maintain its acidity while also tasting fruity and fresh. 
  • These grapes were named after pinecones. This is because Pinot Grigio grapes grow in tight clusters that are shaped like pinecones. Surprisingly, they don’t have woody aromas at all.

Final Thoughts on Pinot Grigio’s Grapes

To sum it all up, Pinot Grigio comes from the highly versatile Pinot family and is a variant of the French Pinot Gris grapes. 

The Pinot grapes have a long history of being used for wine, and these wines taste different depending on where you buy your wine. So what better way to find your favorite Pinot Grigio than by trying them all? Well, now it’s up to you to organize a tasting and get sipping!