The Drinks Business compiled a concise guide to one of the world’s most popular grapes, including some facts that may surprise even the most committed drinkers of Pinot Grigio.
It should be said at the outset that although the variety is considered distinctly Italian, the grape in fact hails from France where it’s called Pinot Gris – the gris (or grigio) meaning grey, in reference to the colour of the berries.
Pinot Gris is actually a colour mutation of red grape Pinot Noir, which occurred in Burgundy, although the “earliest reliable mention” of Pinot Gris in fact took place in Germany’s Baden-Wurttembery in 1711, according to Wine Grapes.
As for its arrival in Italy, the same reference book suggests that Pinot Gris was introduced to Italy in the early 19th century in the north of the country, specifically the Piedmont.
And certainly today, it is northern Italy that dominates the global production of this grape.
So, while Pinot Grigio – to use its Italian synonym – may be a global grape, with plantings worldwide totalling 60,000 hectares, Italy leads with 24,500ha, of which all but 500ha are in the northeast of the country.
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