Named for its grayish-hued skin, Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris) is the second most popular white variety in the United States. Thought to be a mutation of the red Pinot Noir grape, Pinot Grigio is a staple of Northern Italy’s wine regions, where its dry zestiness and refreshing acidity pair beautifully with seasonal pastas, cured meats, and salty cheeses.
In fact, Pinot Grigio is popular across the wine-growing world and, like its cousin Pinot Noir, it reflects the characteristics of its terroir in its flavor. German and Alsatian Pinot Gris are known for their steeliness, while New Zealand-grown Pinot Grigio can be very fruit-forward. No matter where it hails from, however, you’re sure to find a Pinot Grigio to suit your taste. To help, we’ve pulled together a list of the best we’ve tried this year, and arranged them by score and price.
Here are 15 of the best Pinot Grigios you can buy right now, with reviews by VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers.
Best Pinot Grigios Under $25
Domini Del Leone Pinot Grigio 2021
This wine comes from the winery’s estate vineyard just outside of Venice, which has been farmed organically for 50-plus years and was recently Demeter certified for biodynamics. This agricultural practice along with unique soils and a love of the surrounding biome that teems with life comes through in this very unique Pinot Grigio. While this bottle looks like a white wine, it kind of drinks like a red. The nose has tart fruit that is tamed by lean minerality. On the palate, it’s a damn success with good depth and a grippy edge. The mouthfeel has a slight weight that brings structure to a variety that doesn’t often see this kind of concentration. Awesome.
Average Price: $16
Foris Vineyards Pinot Gris 2022
Foris Vineyards is Oregon’s southernmost wine producer in the Rouge Valley, but at a higher elevation than most regions in the state. Their journey began in the ‘70s being one of the first vineyards in the area. And journey is the appropriate word, because they spent years learning in a trial-by-fire way. But when they found some cool-climate grapes being imported into the state by Oregon State University, they realized this was their future. Today they have a wide range of cool-climate-friendly wines and this Pinot Gris is a shining example of their sense of place and years of work. The nose has quiet pear fruit with quenching saline. But it’s the palate that seals the deal with nice texture and a little roundness that makes for a deep yet refreshing wine.
Average Price: $17
Good Harbor Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2022
Good Harbor makes good wine. This is the second year we’re adding their Pinot Grigio to the list. It just goes to show there is magic in Michigan. Well, it’s actually humans making the right decisions and listening to the land — but that’s still magical. The Simpson family of the Leelanau Peninsula, located in northern Michigan, were cherry farmers. But in the ’70s, when Bruce Simpson went to study enology (the study of everything wine) that all changed. Over the years, the family has been a driving force in the development of the wine industry in the Wolverine state. Their 2022 Pinot Grigio is very unique, with a ripe nose that pops with a hint of spearmint. The palate is juicy and round with quenching acidity. A great end-of-day sipper.
Average Price: $17
Mazza Chautauqua Cellars Pinot Grigio 2020
The Mazza family has been making wine in Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie region since 1972. They are part of the fabric of this area’s wine history with co-founder Frank Mazza serving as the president of the Pennsylvania Winery Association (then called the Pennsylvania Grape Industry Association) in the 1980s. They have grown over the years increasing their production as well as diversifying into brewing and distilling. But they have never lost focus on the wine. And thank Dionysus because this Pinot Grigio is so unique. This wine comes from their New York-based winery, which they started in 2004. It has a honeyed nose with a welcome bitter note, bringing a nice contrast to the slight sweetness. The palate is awesome with deep fruit and calm acidity. It has a slight creamy vibe and all kinds of balance.
Average Price: $17
Navarro Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2022
Navarro Vineyards is old school. They have been making wine on the family farm in the Anderson Valley AVA within California’s larger Mendocino AVA since 1974 (before there were official AVAs.) And even today their wine makes you feel like you are stepping back in time. Their website looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1998, and they are still small-production, selling wine in their tasting rooms, online, and, wait for it, by phone. Wild. The bare-bones look of their website and the short list of wines they have on offer shows that the wine is their highest priority. This comes through in this absolutely delicious Pinot Grigio. The nose has a hint of sweetness with some spearmint and pear. It has a wonderfully balanced palate with rich, blousy fruit and a saline quality to the acidity, making it very refreshing. This wine is in total harmony.
Average Price: $21
Bedell Cellars Pinot Gris 2021
Kip Bedell planted his first vine in 1980 when Long Island was slated to become one of the most popular wine regions in the country. He is part of the intrepid few who saw potential in the abandoned potato fields of the North Fork. Today the Lynne family are stewards of this land and have brought the winery into the future. Winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich, a Long Island native who played a big part in the appellation being signed into law in 1985, along with his team, continues to be at the forefront of modern American wine culture. The balance and depth in this Pinot Grigio shows Bedell is a force to be reckoned with. Waxy pear on the nose with hints of roast-y root veggies in the background. The palate is soft with creamy fruit and calm acidity, giving the wine depth. Great New York wine.
Average Price: $20
Archery Summit Vireton Pinot Gris 2022
Archery Summit is known for Pinot Noir. Founder Gary Andrus loves this variety so much that he started the winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with vineyard-designated wines to showcase Pinot Noir’s expression of sense-of-place. Today they work with five estate vineyards and three grower sites covering four unique AVAs in the region. But they didn’t stop with Pinot Noir — they also work with its sibling Pinot Gris. The Vireton collection is their way of offering this attention to quality at an everyday price. As a Tuesday night or hump day wine, it’s an absolute success. Soft, plushy pear with a slight creamy tinge on the nose and a very balanced palate with juicy fruit and bloomy acidity. A very welcoming wine that could also be sipped on more special occasions. It’s that good.
Average Price: $24
Gradis’ Ciutta Pinot Grigio 2021
The Princic family has been farming grapes in Friuli’s hilly region of Collio for generations. But in 1997 Robert Princic, at the age of twenty, decided to rename the family business to Gradis’ Ciutta, after the land they steward. The winery has evolved over the years to span twenty-five hectares and offer a full range of wines in the Friulian tradition. Here they have really been able to coax out the best of this variety. The nose is rich with fruit and maybe a hint of pear. The palate is gloriously soft, deep, and wide with good fruit-lifting acidity.
Average Price: $24
Best Pinot Grigios Over $25
Landmark Vineyards Pinot Gris 2022
Landmark Vineyards was founded in the ‘70s by Damaris Deere Ford, great-great-granddaughter of John Deere who invented the steel plow, along with a group of winemakers. She eventually moved the vineyards to Sonoma Valley and hired world-renowned oenologist Helen Turley to help define their style. The winery has since expanded to Pinot Noir as well as other varieties, with long-lived contracts with quality vineyards from around their region. They brought on board a Pinot Gris from their Hop Kiln vineyard nine years ago, and this new vintage is great. It has a deep nose with rich pear and apple aromas. There’s softness on the palate with good fruit balance. The acidity is calm but present, showing depth and refreshment.
Average Price: $25
Abbazia di Novacella Pinot Grigio 2022
Abbazia di Novacella (the Abbey of the town of Novacella) has been producing wine since the 12th century in the region of Alto Adige in northern Italy. The Augustinian monks who steward the abbey farm vines as well as other crops, since their vows allow them to work to make a living. But make no mistake, wine is the main focus here, with an oenology school on the property as well as their in-house oenologist who was named winemaker of the year in 2009 by the Gambero Rosso (an authority in wine in Italy). They make wonderful wines at a price that makes no sense, but is wholly welcome, based on quality. Their Pinot Grigio sets a standard. It has a full and round palate with joyful saline qualities that burst through the fruit. It’s refreshing and deep at the same time.
Average Price: $28
Loveblock Pinot Gris 2022
Erica and Kim Crawford, the founding partners behind New Zealand’s Loveblock winery, worked to apply their organic lifestyle to their vines, making wines like this sustainable Pinot Gris. After building a successful global wine brand they shifted gears to their Loveblock wine, which is a true passion project. The Crawfords bought raw land and built a sustainable environment from the ground up. The result is wines with character and depth like this Pinot Gris. It has ripe fruit on the nose and a slightly bitter note that adds a welcome layer. Very well-balanced on the palate, with deep fruit and great acidity.
Average Price: $32
DuCard Vineyards Pinot Gris 2022
Tucked into the eastern slope of the beautiful Shenandoah National Park near Old Rag Mountain and White Oak Canyon is DuCard. A winery that for a while sold grapes to another winery, and watched them win awards with their wines. This compelled them to bottle some under their own label as a hobby, which then became a business. They are still small in production and sell from their website, but this wine will have you adding-to-cart. Speaking of their website, before you click “add” there is a short video on every wine they make attached to each item. What an amazing way to connect with customers. This Pinot Gris has a comfy nose smelling like roasted root veggies and pears. The palate is soft with deep fruit and good foundational acidity. Such a solid wine.
Average Price: $34
Köfererhof Pinot Grigio 2022
North of Bolzano at the base of the Dolomites is this over eight-hundred-year-old estate in the Austrian-leaning culture of Trentino-Alto Adige in northern Italy. It has been overseen by the Kerschbaumer family since 1940. Today they are still true to their roots with a small production of 3500 cases of wine per year made from hand-picked grapes. They mostly age their wines in stainless steel but for the Pinot Grigio (and Sylvaner) they opt for fermentation in Acacia wood, which takes this grape in a whole new direction. The nose has soft, mild fruit with a waft of saline. There is just a wonderful structure on the palate with high acid and rich, ripe fruit to match. It’s a very quaffable wine that leans into the lean in just the right way.
Average Price: $34
Paraschos ‘Not’ 2019
Gorizia is a beautiful place. Tucked into the Friulian hills (colli) with a rich wine history based on skin-contact white wines. Today a new generation of winemakers are looking to the past while heading into the future. At one time this style was not a choice but all they had to work with. They are going back to the days of orange/amber wine, and paying tribute to the sacrifices and hard work of the generations before them while using today’s knowledge to create balance. This skin-contact Pinot Grigio is a classic example of what to expect from this wonderful place. It has a balanced, oxidized classic amber nose with some anise and Campari aromas. There is a rich palate with good balance and fruit depth. The tannic edge from the skin-contact is subtle, making for a comfortable mouthfeel that will make you hungry.
Average Price: $44
Albert Boxler Pinot Gris 2020
Albert Boxler was enjoying his new home in Montana taking in the big sky when World War II broke out. After the war, he was drawn home to his native Alsace to work the family farm and aided in the 1946 harvest. Today his grandson Jean Boxler maintains the family legacy with hand-picked grapes across two grand cru sites, Sommerberg, and Brand. Not much has changed since Albert’s time, as wines are vinified and aged in old foudres in a small cellar under the family home. This Pinot Gris is an excellent example of their attention to detail. It has a nice saline nose with minimal fruit and white flower notes. The palate is so damn balanced with a slight hint of sweet and wonderful fruit and acidity. But it’s the great overall structure that really sings in this wine.
Average Price: $45
What country has the best Pinot Grigio?
Northeastern Italian regions, such as Lombardy, the Veneto, Friuli, Trentino, and Alto Adige, are best known for Pinot Grigio production. However, today Pinot Grigio is widely grown in many countries around the world including the United States, Australia, and France.
Do all Pinot Grigio taste the same?
Specific flavors are dependent on terroir but, generally speaking, Pinot Grigio is a dry white wine that has a punchy acidity with flavors of lemons, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle.
How do you pick a good Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Grigio is a common and often inexpensive wine. Choosing the best bottle relies on professional reviews and general knowledge of producers and regions.
Is Pinot Grigio dry or sweet?
Pinot Grigio is a dry white wine. It boasts a crisp, punchy acidity that lends itself to a drier palate.
VinePair’s Tasting Methodology
Throughout the year, VinePair conducts numerous tastings for our popular Buy This Booze column, and wine and spirits reviews. Our mission is to provide a clear, reliable source of information for drinkers, providing an overview applicable to day-to-day buying and drinking.
Tastings are not typically conducted blind. In alignment with our reviews mission, we believe in purposefully tasting all products as our readers typically would, with full knowledge of the producer, the region, and — importantly — the price.
For Buy This Booze roundups, we typically include a maximum of one expression per brand, though we do allow multiple products from the same production facility (i.e., released under different labels).
For this Pinot Grigio roundup, we considered a number of different factors before finalizing the list. Our overall aim was to highlight the surprising and often under-appreciated range of styles this variety can offer. The entry-level bottles that feature represent the best at their price point in terms of balance and concentration of flavor. As for the more expensive inclusions, these wines featured because we felt they justified a higher price point for the category through their nuanced flavors and textural complexity.