Our Pinot Gris, or Malvoisie, comes from Austria and Switzerland. Josef Lentsch does remarkable things with the grape on its own and as part of a number of blends ranging from Auslese right through to Trockenbeernauslese. Heidi Schröck uses it in dry whites as do the Caves des Coteaux in Switzerland.
Pinot Gris, when made well, is a full-bodied wine which has a range of flavours that can go from ripe tropical fruit notes of melon and mango to some botrytis-influenced flavours. There are some excellent sweet Malvoisie wines made in Switzerland.
In the UK this grape is often overlooked or seen as an alternative to drinking Chardonnay in the summer. Please do not make that mistake. Almost as versatile as Riesling, Pinot Gris gives a wonderful opportunity to widen your wine knowledge and taste.
To prevent confusion and to preserve individuality, it was agreed that the word ‘Tokay’ could only refer to Hungarian grapes used in the making of that amazing sweet wine. So from 2007, both Tokay d’Alcase and the Tokay Pinot Gris became, straightforwardly, Pinot Gris. Yes, it is the same grape as Pinot Grigio although the two names can give a reasonable general description as to styles made with this grape, in a similar way to Syrah/Shiraz.
As with the other Pinot varieties the heritage of the grape is worth looking into. So many international varieties have come from crossings with Pinot and Pinot Gris is one such that developed in different areas at different times.