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Guide to White Wine Grape Varieties & Types

Wine Guide

The Pinot Blanc
Wine Grape:

Soft and Delicate,
but No Fading Flower

Pinot Blanc Wine Grape

A household staple in our home, Pinot Blanc should be praised for its approachability, likability and affordability. While I can't say we've ever tried a Pinot that 'wowed' us in the way of the best Chardonnays or very fine whites, Pinot Blanc has always been reliable and enjoyable.

The History of Pinot Blanc

A genetic mutation of Pinot Noir, this red variety occasionally produces a one-off set of white bunches on a single cane - which are Pinot Blanc. Cultivated now in its own right, Pinot Blanc is a member of the ancient Pinot family (not too hard to guess that one) that originated in France's burgundy region in the 1st century A.D. if not earlier. Pinot Blanc has traveled and been cultivated in many other parts of the world and throughout Europe.

Qualities of the Pinot Blanc Grape

On the vine, bunches are densely packed, making them more susceptible to rot if there is humidity or precipitation during the growing season. Very similar in appearance to the Chardonnay vine, Pinot Blanc has been confused for Chardonnay frequently in the vineyard, and shows similar qualities of low yields, around 3 - 5 tons per acre on average.

Pinot Blanc Wine Characteristics

Body: light to medium
Acidity: light
Flavors: light and easy-drinking, with a subtle acidity, showing flavors of citrus, stone fruits and floral notes

Regions Where Pinot Blanc is Grown

- Cooler climate areas of Europe, including France's Alsace region, Germany, Austria and Hungary
- Spain and Italy, including the Alto Adige region
- In limited areas of California as well as Oregon

Pinot Blanc Fast Facts

- Bottled by local varietal names throughout Europe (Pinot Blanc - Alsace;
Wei├čer Burgunder - Germany; Pinot Bianco -
Italy / Spain)
- In Alsace, bottlings of 'Pinot Blanc' may be from this varietal but may also be blends of any white Pinot varieties or blends with Auxerrois
- Bottled by varietal name throughout the New World
- Famous Producers: Pierre Sparr, Schlumberger, Chalone
- Generally best drunk young

Pinot Blanc Wine & Food Pairing

- Easy Food and Wine pairings with Pinot Blanc:
     Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
      Swordfish Puttanesca

Here are some of our favorites:

  2007 Willakenzie Estate Pinot Blanc
Lighter in body than its cousin Pinot Gris, this Pinot Blanc has a classic light, fresh quality. ($18)

 2005 Trimbach Pinot Blanc
Classic Pinot from a family that's made wine since 1626. Light, clean and palate-cleansing. ($12)

Next Variety:   Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris Wine Grape




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