Description 1 of 2

 

Name of varietal: Pinot Blanc
 
Common synonyms: Weissburgunder, Klevner, Feher Burgundi, Pinot Bianco, Rulandske Bile, Rulandske biele, Blanc Vrai
 
Parentage of the grape: genetic mutation of Pinot Noir
 
History of the grape: Pinot Blanc was first grown in Burgundy and Champagne, France, and can be traced by some sources as far back as the 1st century. For a long time, little distinction was made between it and Chardonnay, however a number of vintners who knew what they were doing began producing it as a varietal release. It eventually came to prominence in the Alsace region, where it is one of the four most common grapes grown there. It made its way across Europe and to other parts of the world from there and is now a popular grape in cooler climate regions where it is most able to thrive. 
 
Characteristics of the grape: light to medium-bodied, acidic, grapefruit rind, peach, apricot, canteloupe, honeysuckle, white pepper
 
Regions where the grape is currently important: France: Alsace, Burgundy; Germany: Baden; Austria, Hungary, Italy: Alto Adige; Spain, Czech Republic, California, Oregon, Australia
 
Type or types of wines the grape produces: dry to off dry white, sparkling (notably in Cremant de Alsace), sweet (it is one of the components of Vin Santo in Italy)
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

(aka. Pinot Bianco, Weissburgunder, Klevner)

In California, Pinot Blanc is used mainly to produce bubbly bruts. Pinot Blanc’s rather neutral flavor and brisk natural acidity make it a popular choice for sparkling wines, not just in California, but also in France, as in Cremants de Alsace and Cremants de Bourgogne, and for Italy’s Pinot Spumante. No one will claim that this modest white variety is the noblest grape in the vineyard. But a few dedicated experimentalists haven’t given up on this humblest of Pinots. With a delicate balance between the grape’s natural tendencies and California’s ripening potential, they are revealing a very satisfying and more succulent side of Pinot Blanc. A natural mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, this variety is best known in northern European regions like Alsace, most of northern Italy, and in parts of Germany. Its main claim to popularity is its uncomplicated, mildly-flavored wines, which can often be refreshingly tart from cool growing regions.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Poor Pinot Blanc, you always seem to be in the shadow of that noble sister who gets all the glitz and glory, Chardonnay. Her name must ring in your ears constantly; burn even. “Chardonnay! Chardonnay! Chardonnay!” You poor little thing. But your lack of popularity is not a result of your shortcomings; you’ve had some wonderful sparkly moments in Alsace, Italy, and even in California. However, it's true, along-side your step-sister you can, at times, appear a little dull - your shoulders are leaner, your figure subdued and your beauty more subtle. Still, your personality is refreshingly tart, and you know, they do say that beauty is only skin deep. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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