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Chardonnay vs. Pinot Grigio: What’s the Difference?

After a long and busy day, how do you like to unwind? If you’re like 31% of Americans, you might pour yourself a glass of wine. 

Despite not being as popular as other beverages, like beer, wine remains a great way to bring some fun to dinner parties, movie nights, and many other functions.

That said, most people enjoy drinking wine but don’t know much about it. No matter how big of a wine connoisseur you are, there’s a good chance that you’re unclear on the difference between chardonnay vs. pinot grigio.

To help clear things up, today we’re going to break down the differences between those two white wine varieties. 

Read on to learn more.

What Is Chardonnay?

Chardonnay originated from the village of Chardonnay in the Burgundy region of France. Manufacturers created it by accidentally mixing grapes used for pinot noir and gouais blanc. 

Chardonnay is one of the most versatile wines in the world, with vineyards able to grow it across the globe. Its green-skinned grapes have no problem thriving in different climates, soils, and regions. 

However, the grape’s location does affect the final flavor. Warmer climates like California produce lighter and more tropical flavors, while grapes from cooler climates lead to heavier and more acidic wine. 

What Is Pinot Grigio?

Pinot grigio also originated in Burgundy but became popularized in Switzerland in the 1300s. It then moved to northern Italy, where its popularity really took off. 

The grapes used for pinot grigio are red with a blue hue. Like chardonnay, vineyards can grow them around the world, leading to a mix of different flavors and varieties. For example, French pinot grigio is fruity and sweet, while that of Tuscany or California is crisp and dry. 

The Differences Between the Two

Given the differences in grapes and production methods, there are some differences between the two varieties. Here are some of the biggest ones:


Generally speaking, pinot grigio is crisp, light, and floral. Chardonnay is richer and more buttery, with tastes of vanilla and oak popping through. 

Production Time

With a production time of just six months, pinot grigio requires minimal production time. Chardonnay requires a bit more time, averaging between 9-12 months. 


When you decide to shop for wine, it’s essential to think about what you’ll be pairing it with. Choosing the wrong pairing can harm the flavoring and aroma of the wine. 

Chardonnay goes best with meats, shellfish, and rich and creamy soups. On the other hand, pinot grigio is quite versatile. While most people see it as a summer drink, it works well with just about anything! 

Chardonnay vs. Pinot Grigio: Understand the Differences

Whether you’re a connoisseur or someone just dipping their toes into the world of wine, understanding the differences between different alcoholic drinks is important. Use this guide to help you understand the difference between chardonnay vs. pinot grigio.

Are you looking for more answers to important questions? If you are, make sure to check out the rest of our site for more great content. 

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