Pinot Gris wine grapes in Western Australia

Page last updated: Thursday, 2 November 2017 - 10:18am

Pinot Gris is gaining rapid popularity in Australia and is a mutation of Pinot Noir with ‘gris’ referring to the grey (pinkish) colour of the berries. The variety is known as Pinot Grigio in Italy although it originates from the Burgundy region in France.

It produces a white wine ranging from light and crisp with citrus characters, to a richer style with greater body, perfume and flavour. Wine may also vary from a straw to light copper colour.

The Pinot Gris variety of wine grape has experienced rapid growth in popularity in Australia and Western Australia. Such is its popularity that it is no longer considered an alternative variety for wine grape production. Pinot Gris was planted in Manjimup for evaluation of grape and wine production in 2004.

Timing of key phenology stages for Pinot Gris at Manjimup

Budburst

(E-L 4)

Full bloom

(E-L 23)

Veraison

(E-L 35)

Harvest

(E-L 38)

Mid-September

Mid-late November

Late January

Late February

Pinot Gris showed good field establishment to produce highly fertile vines with early cropping potential. Within the first two years of planting vine vigour was very low, with fruit load reduced to enable vine establishment. Pinot Gris vines produce small canopies with numerous grape bunches that are compact and contain small berries.

Pinot Gris ripens very early in the season and needs to be monitored for protection from birds. Pinot Gris was a late inclusion in the evaluation and could yield more fruit when vines are mature. Due to its compact bunches, Pinot Gris can be prone to Botrytis and sunburn in exposed canopies. Berry flavours were found to be subdued, and the wines showed distinct pear and apple aromas which continued onto the palate.

Production characteristics of Pinot Gris in Manjimup

Productivity

High

Berry weight

Low

Bunch weight

Medium

Fruit yield

3.8kg/vine

Disease susceptibility

Low-medium

Equivalent yield

6.3t/ha

Bunch compaction

High

Vigour

Low–medium

Juice TSS (°Brix)

22.9

Juice Baumé

12.7

Juice pH

3.1

Juice TA g/L

7.5

Wine sensory assessment

Results from a consumer survey showed that 68 per cent of respondents liked the aroma, 68 per cent liked the flavour, 81 per cent liked the body, 70 per cent liked the style and 78 per cent found the variety to have commercial potential.

Wine judging results

Wine judging results awarded out of a maximum of 20 points.

2010 Qantas Wine Show

2011 Timber Towns Wine Show

14.9

15.9

Contact information

Richard Fennessy
+61 (0)8 9780 6219