Pinot Grigio is a white wine grape that most often yields a soft, low acidic wine that may be slightly aromatic. With its crisp stone fruit and citrus flavors, California Pinot Grigio adds a refreshing verve to most any light meal. The grape itself has a pinkish-grey skin, hence the name gris (French for grey). Pinot Grigio is the Italian synonym for the grape also commonly known as Pinot Gris, a noble variety that has origins in Alsace, France. In America, the synonyms, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, are both fairly prevalent. Pinot Grigio is known to be a deviation of the Pinot Noir grape, and leaves of the two varietals are quite similar. Historically, they have grown side by side in the same vineyard.
The popularity of Pinot Grigio has risen in recent years. The acreage in California was reported at 2,835 in the year 2001 and has more than quadrupled in less than a decade to 15,009 acres in 2014 according to the California Grape Acreage Report.
The variety does best in cooler climates but can be grown in other climates yielding varying results as to the style of wine it produces. The acreage is largest in San Joaquin County with 4,802, representing nearly a third of the state’s 15,009 acres. San Joaquin, along with Sacramento, Fresno and Monterey counties are responsible for more than half of the state’s total. Today Pinot Grigio is spreading into nearly all the state’s major wine growing counties.
Top 10 California Counties for Pinot Grigio Acreage, 2014
|County||2014 Total Acres|
|San Luis Obispo||332|
California Pinot Grigio Grape Crush Tonnage
Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service
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