These wines tend to be fermented in stainless steel containers at cooler temperatures so that the primary aromas of the fruit are preserved. This category includes the grape varieties and the wines of Pinot Gris.
What has quickly become the darling of the 'Café set’ has its origins in France's Burgundy region, where a Pinot Noir vine mutated into Pinot Gris and the resultant new grape variety quickly became prized as a grape capable of producing perfumed, rich wines with mouth filling flavour.
As you would imagine the Pinot Noir and the Pinot Gris grape plants are very similar to look at (the leaves are identical). They can be difficult to tell apart, especially late in the season as the berries range in colour from greyish blue through to brownish pink.
Like a lot of European grape varieties, Pinot Gris has been relocated into numerous grape producing areas under a variety of local names. In Italy it is called Pinot Grigio, in Alsace as Tokay d'Alsace, in Germany as Rulander and in Hungary as Szur-Kebarat.
In New Zealand Pinot Gris is grown in both the North and South Islands, with higher acids and more pronounced aromatics in the cooler South Island regions.
Typical aromas and flavours of New Zealand Pinot Gris are apples, pears, honeysuckle and spice and in warmer areas, stonefruit and apricot. Pinot Gris is a relatively new grape to New Zealand in terms of commercial production, regional styles are still being developed as winemakers and viticulturists gain greater understanding of how the grapes develop in their region.
Pinot Gris food match
For the consumer this equates to a fantastic choice of styles and flavours, making this a wine variety that can be matched to a broad range of dishes including, chicken, pork, duck, salmon, sushi, prawns, antipasto platters and grilled fresh stone fruit.