English Grapes

Pinot Gris

English Pinot Gris is grown across the UK in small quantities and is mainly used in the production of English Sparkling Wine. But there’s a growing still wine movement. Grab yourself a glass and be an English Pinot Gris pioneer.

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What is Pinot Gris?

Pinot Gris is a mutation of Pinot Noir. This means that over the years some grapes have adapted to protect themselves from changes in the environment such as frost and rot and in Pinot Gris’ case the DNA chain skipped a sequence giving the fruit its pigmented skin. The grapes often have a grayish-blue fruit which is where the name Pinot Gris comes from.  The wine produced can be anything from a deep golden yellow, a pale pink or the lightest of white. If you don’t already know, I bet you are wondering what’s the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. Technically, nothing. They are same and their names correspond to their French and Italian heritage.

What is English Pinot Gris?

English Pinot Gris is still in its infancy. If you are looking for a still English white wine, you have a wide range of Bacchus to choose from and since 2018 an increasingly wide selection of Chardonnay.

But English Pinot Gris is the new kid on the bloc and a serious contender for your glass.

At the turn of the century, you’d be hard pushed to find English Pinot Gris growing in an English or Welsh vineyard. But so much has changed since then and plantings are on the rise. Today, you’ll find English Pinot Gris growing across the whole of England from Kent in the southeast to Yorkshire in the north.

It’s a versatile grape and is primarily used for blending, particularly in Classic Cuvée English Sparkling Wine.  However, more wineries are producing single varietal English Pinot Gris: Oastbrook, Stopham and Artelium in Sussex have received serious critical acclaim for theirs and are well worth a try, not least as they are delicious and at the more affordable end of the English wine price range. English Pinot Gris has real potential and who knows may one day challenge Bacchus as the go to English white.

Be a Pinot Gris pioneer, grab yourself a glass and watch this space.

What Does English Pinot Gris Taste Like?

We are a cool climate region so English Pinot Gris will have more typical cooler climate flavours. This means a zesty refreshing wine with notes of apple and lime. In warmer years like 2022 we may have some wines with more tropical notes such as white peach and melon.

English Pinot Gris is a superb alternative to crisp, fresh whites like Pinot Grigio, Albarino, and Verdicchio.  There will be some similarities to unoaked English Chardonnay. As a rule it’s a more reserved wine than English Bacchus which is often aromatic and floral.


English Pinot Gris food pairing artichoke

English Pinot Gris

Food and Wine Pairing

English Pinot Gris is best served super cold – around 7 degrees and pairs beautifully with light, fresh dishes. It can handle a bit of spice and a touch of sweetness too.

  • Raw or delicately poached fish.
  • Grilled white meats or sticky honey glazed pork.
  • Fresh vegetables, anything crisp goes well and artichoke is sublime.
  • Grilled summer fruit such as strawberries and apricots.
  • English cheddar, mozerella or grilled English buffalo halloumi.