Pretty and Simple
A mutation of the Pinot family, Pinot Blanc was once commonly mistaken for
- it looks quite similar on the vine. But true Pinot Blanc lacks most Chardonnay
characteristics. The grape is most at home in
where it is used both in blends as well as a sole varietal. It's also found
in Italy where it's called Pinot Bianco.
Wine made from Pinot Blanc often has fuller-body, but it is not a grape known for its
aromatics. The fragrance of a Pinot Blanc is typically neutral and subdued.
The delicate aromas that are present are most often apples, pears, some minerality.
It's a refreshing wine with good acidity. It is also the base variety for Cremant
d'Alsace (the sparking wine of Alsace).
Summing it up
Successful Sites: Alsace, Italy, Oregon
apple, pear, nut, minerals, light, dry, pleasant
Learn More About Alsace, France
Seventy miles long and two miles wide, Alsace is a beautiful, picturesque region situated along the border of France and Germany, nestled between the Voges Mountains and the Rhine River. These landmarks give Alsace an ideal climate for the white grapes that have become the mainstays of the region. Pinot Noir is also grown, with plantings of the grape increasing with consumer demand for red wine.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Alsace underwent a territorial tug-of-war, bouncing from France to Germany and back to France again at the end of the first World War. While the French led the renaissance of fine wine production in the 20th century, Alsacians have integrated both French and German influences in their wine. Alsacian wines are mostly white, with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer leading the plantings. Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner are also popular varietals. The bottles are flute-shaped, like many German wines, and the type of grape is clearly placed on the wine's label – quite unlike the typical French practice of labeling wines by region.
Alsace wines have four noble varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. These are the only varietals allowed in the 50 Alsacian Grand Cru wines. Pinot Blanc, while not noble, is key in making many of the Cremant d'Alsace (sparkling wines) and is found in many Alsace AC blends. Most of the wines from the region are dry – with steely acidity and round fruit flavors, typically more full bodied (aka, more alcohol) than their German counterparts. There are also sweet wines and, of course, sparkling.