Inspired by one of VinePair’s most popular site sections, the Wine 101 podcast takes an educational, easy-to-digest look into the world of wine. This episode of Wine 101 is sponsored by Ecco Domani. Ecco Domani invites you to live life boldly with our vibrant Pinot Grigio. This contemporary Italian wine offers bright citrus aromas and tropical fruit characteristics that give way to a crisp and refreshing finish that’s always in style. You can pair Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio with light pastas, poultry, or fish. This stylish wine is never out of place. So, go ahead, make a bold statement, because good taste is always in style. Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio: Live life boldly. Vivi la vita con coraggio.
Welcome back to Wine 101. In this episode, VinePair tastings director and host Keith Beavers walks listeners through the unique history of Pinot Grigio, and how the white wine became what we know it to be today: one of the most famous grapes in the world.
Pinot Grigio is most commonly associated with Italy, but the origins of the Pinot Grigio grape can be traced to the Burgundy region of France. In this region long ago, a Pinot Noir (noir meaning “black”) vine mutated. The two chromosomes responsible for the grape’s bluish-purple pigment, known as anthocyanins, switched off, creating Pinot Blanc (blanc is French for “white”). Over time, the Pinot Noir, or “black” cells, and Pinot Blanc, or “white” cells, created a new mutation, eventually named Pinot Gris, meaning “gray.”
The “gris” grape production expanded into northern Italy, where it was called Pinot Grigio (“gray” in Italian). Here, the popularity of Pinot Grigio vines eventually surpassed the popularity of Chardonnay. The wines from this region became responsible for the affordable and crisp white wine we are most familiar with today.