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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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vin gris is not, happily, a grey wine but a pink wine that is usually decidedly paler than most rosé, made exactly as a white wine from dark-skinned grapes, and therefore without any maceration. No rules govern the term vin gris, but a wine labelled gris de gris must be made from lightly tinted grape varieties described as gris such as grenache gris. or Grolleau Gris.

In France, where it is a speciality of the Côtes de toul in north-east France and in certain parts of the loire, vin gris is usually made from pressing, but not macerating, dark-skinned grapes, often Gamay, which rarely ripen sufficiently to produce a deeply coloured red. It is also made in the Midi, notably beside the saltpans of the Camargue by Listel, where care is needed to tint rather than dye the resultant wine. The term is also occasionally encountered in the New World—although blush wines are extremely similar to, if almost invariably sweeter than, gris wines. See also schillerwein and other German light pinks.