Pinot Grigio Day (International Pinot Gris Day) Date in the current year: May 17, 2024

Pinot Grigio Day (International Pinot Gris Day) Pinot Grigio Day, also known as International Pinot Gris Day, is observed annually on May 17. It was created to celebrate a popular white wine grape variety that can be used to produce a wide range of wine styles.

Pinot gris, also known as pinot grigio, is a white wine grape variety that originated in Burgundy, France. Technically speaking, pinot gris and pinot grigio are the same grape variety, but the name pinot grigio is typically reserved for Italian wines, which tend to have a slightly different flavor profile (more on this below).

Pinot gris is believed to be a mutant clone of pinot noir. Unlike most other white wine grape varieties, it has a grayish-blue fruit (hence the name – gris means “gray in French”). Due to this, varietal pinot gris wines tend to be darker than other white wines, ranging in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even pinkish. Pinot gris also is one of the most popular grapes for orange wines, i.e. white wines produced with skin contact.

Pinot gris has been known in Burgundy since the Middle Ages. From there, it spread to Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, and other European countries. Today, pinot gris is cultivated in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States.

Pinot gris wines produced in the Alsace region and most New World wine regions tend to be full-bodied, with moderate to low acidity, high alcohol levels, and spicy notes. In Italy, where pinot gris is called pinot grigio, winemakers tend to harvest the grapes early to retain their refreshing acidity. Due to this, Italian pinot grigio wines have a lighter body, higher acidity, and a more neutral flavor profile than their Alsace-style counterparts.

Both fuller-bodied pinot gris and lighter-bodied pinot grigio wines pair well with fish and seafood (including raw fish dishes like sushi or ceviche), poultry, and cured meats. Alsatian pinot gris is a good pairing for spicy dishes, pinot gris from Australia and the United States can pair well with rich and creamy dishes, and Italian pinot grigio is a great pairing for pasta dishes.

Pinot Grigio Day was originally known as National Pinot Grigio Day. It was established in 2017 by Cavit, an Italian winery that is credited with making pinot grigio one of the most popular white wines in the United States (according to the stats provided by USA Wine Ratings, it was the third best-selling wine varietal as of 2019 behind cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay).

The inaugural National Pinot Grigio Day was celebrated on May 26, 2017, but the holiday has been observed on May 17 since 2018. At some point, the word “national” was dropped from its name because other countries besides the United States, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, started to celebrate Pinot Grigio Day, too. Some wine websites and blogs refer to the holiday as International Pinot Gris Day.

There are many great ways to celebrate Pinot Grigio Day. You can buy a bottle of pinot gris and share it with a friend, go out to your favorite wine bar or restaurant and order a glass of their finest pinot gris, attend a wine tasting or a wine and food pairing class, book a winery tour, throw a potluck-style wine tasting party where everyone brings a bottle of pinot gris from a different country, region or winery, use pinot gris in cooking, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #PinotGrigioDay, #PinotGrisDay and #InternationalPinotGrisDay.

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Pinot Grigio Day, International Pinot Gris Day, wine holidays, international observances, wine-related holidays