O.M.Gris - A white wine made from a red grape?!


Pinot Gris is a white wine made from a red grapes - no truly, that's a thing, and it's a great example of the fact of just how much the skins of grapes influence the look, style & taste of a wine. In this case the grape juice is pressed from the skins without any (or very little) contact with the skins therefore it gives no colour influence to the wine.

Pinot Gris is a very important grape in Alsace, France where they make a full bodied, spicer version which is also called Pinot Gris, however in Italy they make a lighter, fruity, drink now style they call Pinot Grigio. Our style of Pinot Gris in New Zealand tends to be fruit forward and varies from very dry to off dry with some sweetness. For the most part New Zealand Pinot Gris is a drink now style of wine. 

My fav Gris' at the moment are:

Hihi Pinot Gris 2017 from Gisborne, this one is definitely in the sweeter camp with 6.5 grams of residual sugar and very aromatic with flavours of pears and honeysuckle - this would make it great with Thai food I reckon.

Hihi is a small boutique producer and winemaker Andy thrives on making a huge range of really interested varieties of wine. Hihi sell their wines at the Gisborne Farmers Market at the weekend or it is available at local Gisbourne stores & at www.hihi.co.nz for $18 a bottle - an absolutely bargain in my estimation!


Loveblock Pinot Gris 2014 is from infamous Marlborough Kim Crawford. Since he sold Kim Crawford Wines almost 15 years ago Kim & his wife Erica run Loveblock - all of the Loveblock wines are certified organic. This Gris is my type of thing - dry (2.6 Residual Sugar), delicate, with flavours of melon & pear that are oh so delicate & delicious. I could drink this all day long & would definitely pair with some seafood. Available widely for $22

Cypress Pinot Gris 2016 is from the renowned Gimblett Gravels area of the Hawkes Bay. Cypress are a family owned boutique producers of some pretty stunning wines since 2009. This Pinot Gris is a more fuller bodied style than you would normally see and it's just a little sweeter at 3 grams of residual sugar (so off-dry). This wine though with delicate flavours is a bit more robust so I could see myself enjoying this with a platter of antipasto deliciousness (who doesn't love a platter with their wine!). Pick this one up for $26 in liquor stores or online.

There's no doubt about it Pinot Gris can be a divisive varietal of wine but there is also no doubt that it is definitely growing in popularity all the time in New Zealand with people seeking out more premium offerings and are prepared to pay a little more for a great Gris.

I've given three different styles & sweetness levels below so hopefully you find something in here that appeals your Pinot Gris palate.