Thursday, September 16, 2021

Pinot gris

Nicolas Quillé 

Pinot gris is a mildly aromatic variety that can be relatively neutral especially at high yields and in warmer regions. It makes a quaffable white wine that is weighty from its lack of acidity accentuated by the potential for residual sugars especially in Alsace. Because its skin is pink, it is often rich in phenolics providing a little color to the wine and a hint of astringency and/or bitterness which the residual sugar helps to balance. 

Pinot gris are not very ageable and are mostly made to be drunk young. The only exception to this rule are Alsatian Pinot Gris that have significant residual sugar and that develop exquisite nutty tertiary aromatics. Alsatian Pinot gris are vastly more complex and concentrated and are in a class apart from anyone else in the world. 

Classic regions for Pinot Gris include Alsace, Italy (Alto Adige, Friuli, Venezia Giulia), Oregon as well as Marlborough & Mornington. Laterals to Pinot Gris include many Italian white grapes such as Verdicchio, Vernaccia, Arneis, Cataratto, Trebbiano, Fiano, Greco, Falanghina and also Picpoul, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.


Yield potential - 10-12 tons per ha

Average sugar concentration  - 20-23°B

Average acid concentration - 7-9 g/t

Clone characteristics

PG 40 – average production and vigour, good balanced clone

PG 52 – lower production, smaller bunches, ripens earlier, higher wine quality

PG 457 - average production and vigour, slightly earlier, less susceptible to botrytis

The available clones are characterised by well-balanced, fruity wines with pronounced peach and plum flavours. Intensive selection for the further development of clones is undertaken on a continuous basis.

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