Is Australian Pinot Grigio a Rival for Italian Pinot Grigio?

I am a fan of most types of wine but when it comes to white wine, I guess it is fair to say that easy drinking, and clean and crisp styles tend to float my boat a little more than a floral or fragrant style wine. French and Italian whites often feature among my white wines of choice and, as such, it’s not unusual to find a bottle or two of Pinot Grigio lurking in my wine rack.

Pinot Grigio

Until recently, I would have chosen Pinot Grigio of the Italian variety – largely because I didn’t know any different. Italy is the native home of the grape after all and you can guarantee that the resulting wine will be light, inoffensive and easy to drink – perfect for lunch or drinking on its own. We have a handful of Italian Pinot Grigios in our range, some of which we’ve stocked for a number of years and which have become true customer favourites. The comments and ratings speak for themselves.

d’Arcana Pinot Grigio 2012
A lovely crisp refreshing wine either on it’s own or with food. –Nicky *****
Lovely crisp dry wine, went superbly with grilled chilli prawns. –Adele *****
This is my favourite Pinot Grigio – crisp, light and refreshing. Thank you. – JILL *****

Araldica d’Aria Pinot Grigio 2013
This has got to be one of the best Pinot Grigio’s around – absolutely delicious, so crisp, so fresh and so very moreish – a definite for the fridge!! – Karen *****
Not keen on whites but thought I’d give one a go and I’m glad I did. Very nice strong fruity flavour. – Marc *****


However, in recent years, a number of New World countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, have also taken to growing Pinot Grigio – reportedly in order to prevent against any possible Sauvignon Blanc fatigue.

Here at Virgin Wines, we’ve worked with our winemaker in Australia, Steve Grimley, to bring a handful of Australian Pinot Grigios to our range and I have honestly been very impressed with the outcome. A warmer climate gives more body and fruit, so the style is a little more rounded and richer than the Italian styles – although nothing overpowering. Customer comments and ratings suggest that I am not alone. The feedback that you’ve given us so far is that Australian Pinot Grigio is just as good, if not better, than the Italian variety. Here are a few examples.

16 Little Black Pigs Pinot Grigio 2013
Great wine – BBQ in the sun or drink by itself – Graham ****
It was amazing!!! best white ever!!!! – Ross *****

The Black Pig Pinot Grigio 2013
A fantastic Pinot Grigio. Nice and fruity, plenty of flavour but still dry and crisp. – Dylan *****
There is Pinot Grigio and then there is Black Pig! This wine has diverted me away from a long standing love of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. – Eric *****
I have finally found a white wine that I like – very crisp and clean – Tony *****

The Black Pig


So, here’s my recommendation. If you are already a fan of Italian Pinot Grigo but fancy trying something different, an Australian Pinot Grigio could be exactly what you looking for – a change from your usual tipple but nothing out of the comfort zone. On the other hand, if you aren’t generally an Italian Pinot Grigio fan, I would urge you to try one of our Australian examples, as you could be pleasantly surprised. With added depth and fruit, the style is bordering on the style of un-oaked Chardonnay. As for me, I am just going to carry on enjoying them both.


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