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Pinot gris is a white grape variety that is called Grauburgunder or Ruländer in Germany, Grauer Mönch in Austria, Malvoisie in Switzerland and Szürkebarát in Hungary. Tokay d´Alsace is actually not a grape variety but a name for wines made from Pinot gris grapes, which was used in the Alsace region and still is today, even though this is not allowed.

In France Pinot gris is cultivated mainly in the Alsace region. It is also common in northern Italy, Austria and Hungary. In Germany the growing region is quite small and takes up only 3% of the total wine growing area. It is mainly cultivated in the Baden region.

The German Spätlese and Auslese, which belong to the best wines in Germany, can be made from Pinot gris. Typical aromas are apple, pear, pineapple and grapefruit, in some Pinot gris wines honey notes are also found.

Genetic analysis showed that Pinot gris originates in a mutation of the grape variety Pinot noir. In Germany two very different sorts of Pinot gris wines are produced. If very ripe and sometimes noble rot infested grapes are used, wines are rich in extracts, oily, low in acidity and have a high alcohol content. In the Baden region these wines are called Ruländer. Where the grapes are picked earlier and no grapes with noble rot are used, lighter wines with a subtle acidity are produced, which are suited for many foods. These wines are usually not called Ruländer but Grauburgunder, even though the same grape variety is meant.


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