California Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a white wine grape that most often yields a soft, low acidic wine that may be slightly aromatic. With its crisp stone fruit and citrus flavors, California Pinot Grigio adds a refreshing verve to most any light meal. The grape itself has a pinkish-grey skin, hence the name gris (French for grey). Pinot Grigio is the Italian synonym for the grape also commonly known as Pinot Gris, a noble variety that has origins in Alsace, France. In America, the synonyms, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, are both fairly prevalent. Pinot Grigio is known to be a deviation of the Pinot Noir grape, and leaves of the two varietals are quite similar. Historically, they have grown side by side in the same vineyard.

The popularity of Pinot Grigio has risen in recent years. The acreage in California was reported at 2,835 in the year 2001 and has increased to 16,718 acres in 2016, becoming the third-leading white variety behind Chardonnay (94,532 acres) and French Colombard (18,961 acres). according to the California Grape Acreage Report.

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio acreage is largest in San Joaquin County with 5,040 acres, representing nearly a third of the state’s 16,718 acres. San Joaquin, along with Fresno, Sacramento and Monterey counties, are responsible for more than half of the state’s total. Today Pinot Grigio is spreading into nearly all the state’s major wine growing counties.


Top 10 California Counties for Pinot Grigio Acreage, 2016

County 2016 Total Acres
San Joaquin 5,040
Fresno 2,180
Sacramento 1,560
Monterey 1,364
Yolo 1,363
Madera 1,066
Merced 572
Santa Barbara 529
Sonoma 441
Solano 403
Other 2,200
STATE TOTAL 16,718

Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service.

California Pinot Grigio Grape Crush Tonnage

Year Tons Crushed
2016 243,736
2015 185,188
2014 181,938
2013 178,887
2012 195,453
2011 173,568
2010 145,607
2009 145,369
2008 90,235
2007 79,342
2006 76,867
2005 66,092
2004 48,280
2003 26,936
2002 17,326
2001 9,626
2000 6,596
1999 3,473
1998 1,237
1997 1,136
1996 457
1995 300
1994 71
1993 76
1992 40
1991 39
1990 36

Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service