This is part of a series called Wine Words, a glossary in the works that breaks down the barrier between those in the wine know and those who have no idea what the hell everyone's talking about. A new word posts once a week, covering everything from a grape name or region, to a winemaking or tasting term.
Vin Gris (v.) Winemaking Term
A rosé is a rosé is a rosé. But they get there by different paths. Vin Gris, like the Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, is a method most commonly and historically practiced in France's Loire Valley, and made from light skin red grapes like gamay. It's typically more pale than other rosés, which is a direct result of the winemaking choices. Here, the wine is made as if it were a white wine, where the juice is racked from the skins immediately after pressing, extracting very little color from the berries. Most rosés are made by macerating the juice on the skins, maybe a week or so, allowing it to develop far more color, like the Akakies sparkling rosé and Clendenen Family Vineyards Mondeuse rosé.
Vin Gris, though translated as gray wine, is not the least bit pallid, as the name might suggest. Vin gris wines are usually elegant light-hued pinks with light, lean body and nuanced flavors, making them easy to pair with many kinds of food and people.