“Pinot gris is grown across the globe with the "spicy" full-bodied Alsatian and lighter-bodied, more acidic Italian styles being most widely recognized.” —Wikipedia. How can two cultures, separated by a mountain range, have totally different ideas of an "ideal" wine? Alsatians are noted for the aromatic grape varieties they grow, consequently the grapes are harvested very ripe to achieve maximum fruit aromas and flavors; frequently so ripe that the wines end up with some residual grape sugar. The Italian public seems to prefer their white wines much more austere (acidic) and without the fruity aromas that characterize Alsatian offerings. Anderson Valley is blessed with very cold nights preceding harvest, which allows the grapes to retain their natural acidity; we pick the grapes with more flavor than many Italian Grigios, but less ripe than the wine we label as Gris. A nutty, oily texture with a crisp finish hinting of pineapple that is perfect on a warm evening.
A Pinot Gris vine prior to harvest. We've stripped away the leaves to make the grapes easier to harvest. From the color we think the variety might have been better named as Pinot Pourpre.