Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio have been slow to take off in Australia … not because we didn’t want to drink them but rather because the winemakers didn’t want to produce them.

This article from Jeni Port in The Age goes some way towards explaining this phenomenon …

(Left: Italian winemaker Alessio Bortoluzzi will give a pinot grigio pep talk at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March. Photo – The Age)

Shades of gris

There are wine trends that are winemaker-driven (ah, nebbiolo!).

There are wine trends that are wine marketer-driven – like that ocean of rose we’re swimming in.

And then there’s pinot gris and pinot grigio.

Today, the little grape with the interesting dual personality is nipping at the heels of the uber-trendy New Zealand sauvignon blanc and rose in popularity, but no maker or marketer wanted to know about it 10, 20 years ago. Even five years back there was widespread ambivalence.

“Making pinot grigio is like trying to paint with just the colour white,” said a winemaker at the time.

Boring, bland, one-dimensional, simple – there wasn’t enough scorn in the dictionary to describe the super-dry Italian-style pinot grigio.

And if pinot grigio was white paint, its alter ego, the Alsatian-style pinot gris, was only a tad more interesting – white wallpaper with a cream trim perhaps.

So what happened? Read the rest of the article …

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pinot grigio, pinot gris, italian-style pinot grigio, white wine