Pinot Blanc grapes
It is an unusual white grape variety, originating from Alsace, France. It is a sweet grape and what is typical of white grapes; Pinot Blanc is used to produce sparkling whites that go very well with desserts and some spicy food.
It is not, however, thought to be of full quality as that of the Pinot family and is comparatively a local variety.
Some production also comes from Switzerland, US and Canada. Countries like Australia and New Zealand might also be cultivating the grape, although their exact share is a tentative figure, implying that they are not major producers of Pinot Blanc.
The grape is of old antiquity, although most of its past remains obscure. It is also a very peculiar variety since certain genetic mutations give it unusual traits and characteristics.
Origins of Pinot Blanc
Pinot Blanc is also recognized as Klevner is German. It is the white version of Pinot Noir and seems to have conflicting origins.
Its exact place of birth and history remain unknown, although its first records go back to 1896 when a congressional decision at Chalons listed Pinot Blanc as being a different grape than Chardonnay.
It was then identified as the white grape of the Pinot family by Pulliat in Chassagne-Montrachet.
The Pinot Blanc and the varietal Auxerrois are frequently referred to by the same terminology. This varietal is often used in production of varietal wines for Cremantd’Alsace.
Confusion with Chardonnay
At least with its first official distinction from Chardonnay in 1896, Pinot Noir was actually thought to be the same grape or a close relative of Chardonnay.
Like the latter grape, Pinot Blanc produces some medium to full bodied wines with good acidity and nice oak response.
Its characters are also very similar to Chardonnay’s, exhibiting flavours of apples, almonds and some smokiness.
Several DNA analyses have actually debunked the claim that the grape is a very close relative of Chardonnay, thus putting it genetically in the Pinot family.
Between 1930 and 1935, Pinot Blanc was also used as a crossing agent with Riesling to create the white Italian variety, Manzoni Blanco.
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Characteristics of Pinot Blanc
A typical Pinot Blanc appears pale yellow in colour with hints of green. Wine produced in clear, transparent and sparkling in the eye.
Aromatically, Pinot Blanc is rich with aromas of delicate fruits and notes of apples, peaches and floral hints filling the nose.
On the palate, the wine is pleasant and soft, with medium acidity and alcohol.
Pinot Blanc’s wines have differing tastes according to the region, it has been produced in. In France, Italy and Hungary, Pinot Blanc is used to full bodied dry white wines while in Germany and Austria; they can be sweet or dry.
In France, the grape is blended with several local varieties as well, like the Auxerrois grape that gives Pinot Blanc a more Alsatian flavour.
In Italy, this grape is usually planted in the north-west, where it is called as Pinot Blanco. Here it is made as a crisper, lighter, wine that hardly ever sees oak ageing, and is often used as a blending agent with other grape varieties.
In Italy, it is primarily used as a varietal grape to produce notable wines like the Franciacorta, which is an Italian version of Champagne.
In Germany and Austria, the variety is often called as Weissburgunder and is usually seen as light and refreshing. In Austria, these wines are comparatively sweeter and textured, called Trockenbeerenaulsese.
These were introduced in the Nineteen century and are still grown in such regions like the Neiderosterreich and Burgenland.
In the new world, Pinot Blanc is produced in countries like the, Argentina, Canada, US, and Uruguay. The level of Alcohol in these wines have a tendency to be medium-high with better acidity and strong flavours. It is a popular grape variety in California, while in Beautiful Canada it is used to make ice wine.
Canada’s Okanagan Valley is a popular hotspot for getting a taste of Pinot Blanc.
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