About Pinot Gris:
Pinot Gris is originally from Burgundy, France. The grape is related to Pinot Noir. Up until Veraison the grape looks identical to Pinot Noir. The grapes can have a gray, blue, or pink tint; Gris refers to the gray sheen on the grapes. In Oregon, it expresses more of the “Alsatian” characteristics – fuller bodied with fruit flavors of citrus, melon, mango, pear, and stone fruit, lower acidity, and higher alcohol than its cousin Pinot Grigio in the “Italian” style which tends to be higher in acidity.
Where to find Pinot Gris:
In addition to Oregon and Washington, Pinot Gris can be found throughout Europe, with France, Italy and Germany having the largest plantings. It is also found in Australia, New Zealand, and in South America in Argentina and Chile.
Characteristics of Pinot Gris:
Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity, higher in alcohol and sugar. It grows well in cooler climates like Oregon’s Willamette Valley. In warmer climates it can taste “sweeter” and fruitier. It is a pale straw color. While many people think of it as strictly a warm-weather wine, it is delicious year-round and is a versatile food wine. Pinot Gris is aged in stainless steel or neutral oak to preserve the bright fruit flavors.
Why Pinot Gris:
Pinot Gris remains Oregon’s flagship white and was brought to Oregon in 1965 when David Lett of Eyrie Winery moved from California to follow a dream of producing world class Pinot Noir. As he developed the winery he became the first winery in the west to plant and produce Pinot Gris, which loves the climate we have here with long, temperate summer days and the gently cooling autumn. It’s this history, heritage, and climate that drew us to producing Pinot Gris. Not to mention the versatility with food.
Natalie’s Estate Winery Handcrafted Production of Pinot Gris:
When producing our Pinot Gris at Natalie’s Estate, we focus on the purity of the fruit by fermenting and aging the wine in stainless steel. This allows the bright flavors of pears and apple to shine which also allow for a crisp finish while other wineries prefer to ferment or age the wine in neutral barrels to give the wine a richer, rounder mouth feel. Also, often they will blend other varietals in with the Pinot Gris but we prefer to focus on standalone varietals from individual sites so the characteristics remain the same year-over-year.
The 2018 Natalie’s Estate Winery Pinot Gris will be available for purchase in our tasting room and through our website in May of 2019.
Pinot Gris is loaded with orchard and tropical fruit aromas and flavors, all backed with sleek acidity, allowing them to pair perfectly with seafood, shellfish, pasta in a white sauce, pork dishes and hearty stews.