Synonym: Pinot Gris, Petit Gris, Auvernet, Auxois, Auxerrois Gris, Beurot, Burot, Fauret, Fromentot, Gris Cordelier, Lacrant, Malvoisie, Muscade, Pinot Cendré, Tokay d’Alsace (france); Borgogna Grigio, Ruländer, Stahler (Italy); Burgunder Roter, Drusent, Grau Clevnet, Grauer Burgunder, Rother Clewner, Ruländer, Tokay, Tokayer, Wiliboner (Germany and Switzerland); Szurkebarat (Hungary).
Commonly mistaken for: none.
Origin: It had its origins in France (Burgundy). It was famous by 1300 for the aromatic characteristics of its berry, originating from an instable mutation of Pinot Noir. Pinot Grigio was probably brought through Hungary into Germany, where was called “Spirer” (1689), this word means spiral, a spiral of diffusion around Germany, promoted by the farmer: Ruländ, from whom the name “Ruländer” was taken in 1711. At the end of the 1800’s it was introduced to Italy from France, where it became very common in the Trentino Alto Adige region. It is also cultivated generally in the north-east of Italy in the Friuli region.
Agronomic and environmental aspects: It has a preference for hilly places, with a good percentage of clay it also grows well in foothill regions, but the soil must be friable. The vine is suitable for a variety of training systems and pruning techniques. In Italy and France vertical shoot positioned (VSP) systems are used, such as the Guyot (long cane pruning) or the spur pruning. The most important thing is to maintain the vine in a good balance using shoot thinning as a technique to improve the quality of the final product.
Diseases, pests and disorders: Very susceptible to botrytis, sour bunch rot, phomopsis cane and leaf spot; susceptible to downy mildew and powdery mildew. It’s almost resistant to Esca. The vines can also show iron chlorosis. Good resistance to extreme weather conditions (drought and strong wind), but it is particularly sensitive to the frosts.
Growing Tip: full open, cottony, of yellowish green colour.
Leaf: small size of blade, cordate shape, 3-lobed. Has a V-shaped petiolar sinus, lateral superior sinuses are V-shaped, while the inferior (if there are any) are like an open V. The profile is revolute with a medium blistering of blade in the upper surface. In the mature leaf the petiole sinus is not limited by veins (as happens in Chardonnay leaves).
Bunch: small, of cylindrical form, with one wing, medium-high density of berries.
Berry: of medium-small dimensions, elliptic; skin of violet yellow colour, medium thick covered by good quantity of bloom.
- VCR 5: Rauscedo clone, selected in Friuli region (between the rivers Cellina and Tagliamento); very low vigorous vines, low fertility per shoot, but with consistent yield. The bunch is small, of cylindrical form, medium density of berries and with short wing; good resistance to botrytis and more tolerant to iron chlorosis, so for this reason it can be cultivated in calcareous soils.
- D1V7: Davis clone; characterized by medium vigour vines; the yield is higher than the variety average. The bunch has a medium-small size with a high density of berries, a not so uniform bluish grey colour. Medium resistance to botrytis.
(*): Training system: bilateral spurs cordon (VSP)
(**): Training system: bilateral double cordon
With normal vinification (white wine method) the wine is straw-yellow in colour, fragrant, with a dry taste, alcoholic, smooth, well balanced in acidity and with a short ageing it acquires a very fine bouquet. If the vinification is in copper, the wine sometimes acquires a slightly bitter taste, is fruity, full bodied and warming but not good for ageing. Can also be used to make sparking wine. It is used in several DOC (Alto Adige, Aquileia, Breganze, Collio, Isonzo, Latisana, Grave del Friuli etc).