Pop open a bottle of pinot gris and explore Canada’s forays into this newly trendy style. What’s the difference between pino gris and pinot grigio? Both easy drinking wines are made from the same grape, and while both are light, pino gris is typically a little richer, with a fuller body. The crowd-pleasing wine is found throughout the world, most famously, the Alsace region of France where they originated. Here, we take a look at 10 Canadian pinot gris from its two major provinces of production: British Columbia and Ontario.
Traynor Family Vineyard 2016 Pinot Gris
At Traynor Family Vineyard in Prince Edward County, winemaker Mike Traynor pairs his pinot gris with lemon zest shortbread, picking up the citrusy brightness of this medium-bodied wine. Try it with your own cookie plate, or on its own, for a grown-up afternoon break with friends.
Traynor Family Vineyard 2016 Pinot Gris $25 at the winery.
Quails’ Gate The Bench 2016 Pinot Gris
The Bench Pinot Gris is part of Quails’ Gate Winery’s Anniversary series, named after one of the original sites farmed when the Okanagan Valley vineyard was founded back in 1908. It’s a wrap served with an elegant halibut papillote for an easy entrée.
Quails’ Gate The Bench 2016 Pinot Gris $23.99 at the winery.
Bench 1775 Pinot Gris
Winemaker Val Tait apparently loves working with Bench 1775 Winery’s pinot gris, and recommends the 2017 for spicy dishes, perfect for cooling down during the sweltering heat. The winery takes its name from the Naramata Bench on the shore of Lake Okanagan.
Bench 1775 Pinot Gris $18.90 at the winery.
Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2017
Go light with a simple salad or please vegetarian diners with this veggie-friendly wine from Fort Berens Estate Winery, the first one in Lillooet, BC. Try it poolside (in shatterproof stemware) with a simple crudité platter for casual entertaining.
Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2017 $17.99 at the winery.
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2017 Pinot Gris
The Mavety family has been growing grapes for 43 years, and the Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2017 Pinot Gris contains fruit from 31 year old vines. Try a glass now, and store a bottle to share with friends in a few years.
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2017 Pinot Gris $29.90 at the winery.
Kacaba Vineyard and Winery 2016 Jennifers Pinot Gris
Owner Michael Kacaba named this pinot gris after one of his daughters (not to worry, her sisters get equal billing on other wines). Raise a glass of this crisp sipper from Vineland, ON and tuck into some simple roast chicken or pork tenderloin.
Kacaba Vineyard and Winery 2016 Jennifers Pinot Gris $17.95 at the winery.
Malivoire Wine Co. 2016 Pinot Gris
Former Hollywood director Martin Malivoire left the gossip of La La Land after 30 years for another type of grapevine, and his winery in the Niagara region now produces 24,000 cases per year. Roasted caulflower soup, served warm or cold, makes a pleasing pairing with the Malivoire 2016 Pinot Gris.
Malivoire Wine Co. 2016 Pinot Gris $21.95 at the winery.
Cave Spring Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris
Cave Spring Cellars has been around for 30 years in the Niagara Peninsula, with the name referencing the mineral springs and limestone caves in the area. The 2016 pinot gris would be a nice match with a simple seafood supper.
Cave Spring Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris $16.95 at the winery and the LCBO.
50th Parallel Estate Winery 2017 Pinot Gris
Although its main focus is pinot noir, 50th Parallel Estate winery offers up a food-friendly pinot gris from the Okanagan Valley. Try a glass with a selection of herb breads, spreads and savoury dips on the patio on a warm night.
50th Parallel Estate Winery 2017 Pinot Gris $19.90 at the winery.
Closson Chase 2017 KJ Watson Pinot Gris
Throw some shrimp on the barbecue to enjoy with this pinot gris from Prince Edward County’s Closson Chase Winery. Fun fact: if you look closely at the label, you can see the original artwork by David Blackwood for the winery, representing the sea and international signal flags.
Closson Chase 2017 KJ Watson Pinot Gris $22.95 at the winery and BC Liquor Stores, Manitoba Liquor Mart, LCBO and NLC Liquor Store (prices may vary).