ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Griggio? I have seen this wine spelled both ways. Is one incorrect or has it simply taken on a different spelling in different languages? Thanks very much for clearing this up for me.

—Chris C., St. Albert, Alberta

Dear Chris,

"Pinot Grigio" should be spelled only with two g's, not three. The grape actually has a few different monikers, and the wines made from it can come in many different styles. It's known as Pinot Gris in Alsace, where it can make very rich, dry whites and even late-harvest dessert wines. It Italy, where it's mainly found in the northeast, it's called Pinot Grigio, and it typically produces lighter, crisper whites. You can see either name on many bottlings around the world. In the past, the grape was sometimes referred to as Tokay d'Alsace, but that caused it to be confused with the other Tokay, the Hungarian one. And it's also known as Ruländer in southern Germany.

—Dr. Vinny


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