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April brings us to Pinot month!

Pinot Noir has been around for a thousand years. 1st century documents describe a grape variety similar to Pinot Noir being enjoyed by the romans in France. (To spare you the full details, here’s a great recap on it’s history.) It’s prone to mutation which has resulted in many forms of Pinot’s, but the Finger Lakes really only has Noir and Gris/Grigio. A select few also have Blanc, but that isn’t found on our lake.

So what’s the differences and similarities between Noir and Gris? DNA analysis show that they’re actually mutations of the same grape but lend difference in flavor profile.


  • Flavor Profile: fruit flavors of cherry, strawberry, or raspberry. Oaky and light-bodied.
  • Dry
  • Oak Aged
  • Grape color on vine is a dark purple/black


  • flavor profile:  citrusy flavors with tropical undertones. Crisp, refreshing, acidic finish.
  • Dry
  • Stainless Steel Aged
  • Grape color on wine is a blush or rose

Why do some wineries have Pinot Gris and others have Pinot Grigio? Aren’t they the same?

Yes and no. Though its sometimes hard to taste a difference since it IS the same grape, there IS a stylistic difference. The short explanation is that the Gris is based on a French style of winemaking, which makes it riper, richer, with a bit more alcohol, and sometimes just a touch sweeter. The Grigio is based on the Italian model, which is lighter, simpler, and tends to have less alcohol and sweetness.

Do they both taste fantastic? Sure do!

Pairing Pinots with food

Pinot Noir pairs well with a wide range of foods such as salmon, chicken, charcuterie boards, BBQ foods,  roasted or grilled pork, duck, pheasant, beef and mushroom bourguignon, soy ginger roasted chicken, baked bacon wrapped prunes, French onion soup, grilled portobella, and lamb.

Pinot Gris pairs well with lighter dishes and meats like seafood, light pasta, sharp or smoked cheeses, panko crusted salmon, grilled asparagus, fresh green salad with feta, tuna salad, or linguini with white clam sauce.

Cooking with Pinot

Since Pinot Noir is a lighter red variety, it’s a great fit for meaty stews. It’ll tenderize the meat as it cooks and won’t be too bold or overpowering.

Pinot Gris/Grigio is commonly used in cooking since its dry, crisp, and uncomplicated. It compliments most seafood dishes by brightening the broth or adds dimension to linguine. The same goes for chicken dishes.

So how do you cook with it? You can substitute all or some of broth or stock that’s called for in a recipe. Same goes for red or white wine vinegar. You can also use it in place of water or even a juice that might be in a recipe.

Some delicious recipes to try:

Chicken Pinot Noir with Wild Mushroom and Fresh Basil

Pinot Noir Brownies

White Wine Coq au Vin Chicken Thighs

Garlic Butter White Wine Shrimp Linguine

Check out these offers along the trail* for the entire month of April

Montezuma Winery-

  • In-store exclusive! Pinot Noir for $12.99 (originally $19.99). No other discounts apply

Swedish Hill Winery-

Knapp Winery-

Goose Watch Winery-

  • 2 bottles of 2017 Pinot Grigio for $25, in-store and online. No other discounts apply

Toro Run Winery-

  • Complimentary tasting of either Pinot Noir Rosé or Pinot Noir Reserve with purchase of a standard tasting
  • $10 Pinot Noir Reserve- in-store and online.
  • Plus, an additional 10% off 12+ bottles

Thirsty Owl Wine Co.-

Hosmer Winery-

  • 3 bottles of 2017 Pinot Gris for $40. In-store only, no other discounts apply

Americana Vineyards-

  • Who doesn’t love a little Pinot Gris? Get 2 bottles for $33. In-store or over the phone: 888-600-8067. No other discounts apply

Long Point Winery-

  • Receive an additional 5% off standard quantity discounts on 2018 Pinot Grigio, in-store only, or by phone: 315-364-6990
    • 10% off 3 to 5 bottles
    • 15% off 6 to 11 bottle
    • 20% off 12 or more

*At participating wineries