Wines produced from the Pinot Grigio/Gris grape are extremely particular to the regions from which they come. Most Pinot Grigio on the market comes from northeastern Italy, specifically the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. These bottles are generally light-bodied, zesty, and easy to drink, making them a gateway for many future wine-lovers. Head slightly north to Trentino Aldo Adige, and the wines begin to change. Cooler temperatures and higher elevations drive the bottles to become more mineral and complex, with juicy stone-fruit and blossom flavors. You might pay a few dollars more, but we promise you it's worth it.
Head east to France's Alsace region and things dramatically change, far beyond just the name of the grape. Here, Pinot Gris is produced in medium to full bodied styles, with a signature spicy twist to the wines. Flavors of honeyed apples and crisp yellow fruit dominate the bottles, with spicy notes adding texture and complexity to the wines. With Alsatian Pinot Gris, reading the label is key; wines labeled 'Pinot Gris' and 'Grand Cru' will be less sweet than those labeled 'Vendange Tardive,' AKA, late-harvest.
Many New World Pinot Gris producing regions, such as Australia, Oregon, and New Zealand, are characterized by their dry, fruit-forward expressions of the grape. Citrus, stone fruit, and apple flavors will be present, due to the grape's exposure to sunnier, warmer weather (see Old World vs. New World for further explanation.) The wines could be barrel or steel aged, on or off the lees; again, reading labels with PG is key.