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California Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio, also known in the United States as Pinot Gris, is a noble variety with origins in Alsace, France. A deviation of Pinot Noir, the Pinot Grigio grape has a pinkish-grey skin, hence the name gris (French for grey). The grape yields a clean, easy-drinking wine with flavors and aromas of stone fruits, apples, pears and citrus.

The popularity of Pinot Grigio has risen in recent years and remains strong. The acreage in California was reported at 2,835 in 2001 and reached 16,928 acres in 2018, becoming the third-leading white variety behind Chardonnay (93,148 acres) and French Colombard (18,246 acres), a blending grape, according to the California Grape Acreage Report.

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio acreage is largest in San Joaquin County with 5,396 acres, representing nearly a third of the state’s acreage. San Joaquin, along with Fresno, Sacramento and Yolo counties, are responsible for more than half of the state’s acreage total. Pinot Gris is now grown in nearly all of the state’s major wine growing counties.

Top 10 California Counties for Pinot Grigio Acreage, 2018
County Total Acres
San Joaquin 5,396
Fresno 2,000
Sacramento 1,592
Yolo 1,411
Monterey 1,275
Madera 1,094
Merced 631
Santa Barbara 465
Solano 428
Sonoma 424
Other 7,608
State Total 16,928
Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service
California Pinot Grigio Grape Crush Tonnage
Year Tons Crushed
2018 275,608
2017 252,452
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