Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder)
(8 % of total cultivation area )
This white-berried mutation of the Pinot Gris, which in turn mutated from the Pinot Noir, has long been known in France since the 14th century.
Pinot Blanc with 17000 hectares worldwide, covers just half the total area of Sauvignons Blanc. The largest cultivation of “Pinot Bianco” being in Italy with 6.850 hectares.
The planting of Pinot Blanc in Germany and Austria with around 3000 hectares, is larger than that in France (ca. 1.400 hectares) and together with Pinot Gris, is on an uphill climb.
Characteristics and requirements:
The Pinot Blanc grapes are longish to round, greenish yellow and have a neutral taste. They ripen in the middle to late end of the season shortly before the Riesling. Pinot Blanc is a slightly fussy variety needing a warm site rich in nutrients and is prone to late frost damage and poor fruit set. Otherwise similar to the Riesling, fairly hardy and not as prone to stem rot. In the same conditions Pinot Blanc can reach 6 to 8° degrees Oechsle higher than the Riesling.
The wine itself:
Pinot Blanc wines need to reach at least 85° degrees Oechsle in order to do themselves justice. They are much less acidic than the Riesling and do not overpower with aromas. Left to ripen and mature they reward with finesse, intense fruit of ripe apples, banana and apricot and even nutty flavours are possible.