Usually made as a varietal wine, Pinot Grigio is vinified in Alsace and Germany as dry, semidry and botrytized, sweet wine. In northern Italy, Pinot Grigio yields fresh, crisp, supple wines with genuine charm.
Pinot Grigio is best suited to deep, warm soil high in minerals and requires a long, cool growing season to develop flavor and delicate aromas and preserve acidity. A highly adaptable, resistant and potentially prolific vine of medium vigor, with fruit that is moderately low in acidity and needs restricted yields to show character.
Though native to northern France, Pinot Grigio is today most commonly associated with Italy. It was well established in Switzerland, Hungary and Burgundy in the Middle Ages and is thought to have migrated to Alsace and southern Germany by the late 1500s. Research has found that an original Pinot prototype and an obscure vine called Gouais Blanc are the parents of Pinot Grigio and 15 other French varieties, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.