Pinot Gris is a fabulous variety most closely associated with the Alsace region of France, where it is also known as Tokay Pinot Gris. But it is also widely grown in Italy where it is called Pinot Grigio. In Alsace it’s best-suited to the deep, clay soils found in the north of the region where it makes richly honeyed, dry whites as well as superbly sweet late harvest wines. At its best it combines the heady perfume and rich aroma of Gewürztraminer with the acidity one associates with Riesling. Top Alsace examples of Pinot Gris can also age very well, developing rich, oily and nutty characteristics. In northern Italy you can find hundreds of fairly thin, undistinguished dry whites made from Pinot Grigio. However the style should certainly not be dismissed, it comes into its own in the hands of quality producers who generally crop at much lower levels, producing marvellously rounded, elegant, fresh and mineral-laden examples. Pinot Gris in New Zealand is arguably still in the process of exploring the relative merits and suitability of these two main styles to the NZ context. But an emerging NZ Style that features characteristics of both can readily be seen in many of today’s NZ Pinot Gris.