A well-known and fashionable grape, Pinot Gris is a mutation of Pinot Noir that looks quite similar in the vineyard. The berries are pink when ripe, and have the potential to produce super-rich, moderately aromatic dry wines that partner well with food.
In Alsace, Pinot gris, sometimes referred to as Tokay, is valued as a noble, or classic, grape variety along with Gewürztraminer, Muscat, and Riesling. Pinot gris is made into a fresh and light wine in Northern Italy’s Alto Adige where it is known as Pinot grigio, a style that has become very popular in the United States. It is also called Rülander in Germany.
Unlike its cousin Pinot Noir, Pinot gris is a hardy grape, but yields can be irregular and susceptible to botrytis cineria. It fares best in areas with long ripening seasons and heavy soils. Pinot gris has some age worthiness, can be vinified in late harvest style, and can support the use of oak barrels for fermentation and/or aging.