Viognier vs. Pinot Grigio: The Untold Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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In another white to white combo comparison, many newbies to the wine community will automatically assume that all white wines are the same as pink wines and red wines. 

However, this is not true, each wine has its own notes, and there are also different fermentation processes for wines. So, let’s get into the specific comparison of Viognier and Pinot Grigio!


Is Viognier The Same As Pinot Grigio?

The straight answer is no. Viognier is not the same as Pinot Grigio, the main reason for this is their unique notes that separate the two. This, however, does not stop these wines from sharing other similarities in different areas.

A glass of wine near a wine bottle on a wooden surface - Viognier vs. Pinot Grigio: Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

What Is Similar About Viognier and Pinot Grigio?

You’ll find both Viognier and Pinot Grigio to have light similarities, including color, origin, and style. Both of these white wines originate from France, and although both have more than one style, they can be produced. 

Also, they both can be made into dry wines for those who prefer them. Viognier and Pinot Grigio both also complement cuisine with seasoned scallops. 


What Is The Difference Between Viognier and Pinot Grigio

While they have a multitude of weaker similarities, these two wines have great differences beyond the naked eye. The greatest difference you will find between the two lies within the notes of the wines. 

Pinot Grigio is known to hold baseline notes of lemon, peach, melon, and almond. The wine is also produced in three different styles compared to Viognier’s two styles. 

Pinot Grigio is the most widely produced wine that is dry, semi-sweet, and sweet.

On the other hand, Viognier holds baseline notes of tangerine, peach, and mango. However, it’s also known for its floral notes like rose or honeysuckle. Viognier is typically made into a dry or sweet wine. 


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Considering that Pinot Grigio also contains mineral notes, it’s considered to be drier. Drier than the Viognier, that is, the notes of Viognier in white wines are known to make the wine more on the sweeter side of things. 

At the same time, wines that contain mineral notes are known to be drier in flavor.


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Viognier has a slightly higher average alcohol content. Pinot Grigio can contain anywhere around 12-13.5% alcohol by volume. 

You’ll come to find that the Viognier, which is also to be considered the sweeter wine, tends to carry a slightly increased amount of alcohol content by volume at 13.5-15%. 

Keep in mind that wines made in warmer climates like Australia and California tend to contain a higher amount of alcohol content than regions that experience a cooler climate.  


How Do I Choose Between Viognier And Pinot Grigio

Tune in with your personal preferences with this, and try both to configure which you’d prefer! 

For example, if you enjoy white wines with fruity, nutty, and mineral notes – you’d most likely prefer Pinot Grigio if you can’t get past the mineral notes and prefer a more light Viognier with its delicate floral notes.

Final Thoughts On Viognier vs. Pinot Grigio

Although not the same, Viognier holds similarities in color, origin, and style; they both also compliment dishes with scallops. 

The biggest difference you’ll find is the notes they hold. Viognier is known to hold delicate floral notes, while Pinot Grigio is known for its distinctive mineral notes. Being the sweeter of the two, Viognier will also carry a slightly higher alcohol content than the Pinot Grigio.