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Pinot Blanc

The Pinot Blanc is an international grape variety that originated in France as a genetic variant of the Pinot Noir, although its success is tied to the winemaking history of other European countries, including Italy. While in the Lombardy region it is used to produce sparkling wine cuvées, it is in the Friuli, Veneto and Trentino South Tyrol regions that this variety, which is often vinified as a single varietal, is best expressed. In these mountainous lands, it creates white wines with great aromatic freshness, a soft envelopment and an important structure that allows it to benefit from ageing in wood, which increases its complexity and opens it up to interesting evolutions.

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The Pinot Blanc is an international grape variety that originated in France as a genetic variant of the Pinot Noir, although its success is tied to the winemaking history of other European countries, including Italy. While in the Lombardy region it is used to produce sparkling wine cuvées, it is in the Friuli, Veneto and Trentino South Tyrol regions that this variety, which is often vinified as a single varietal, is best expressed. In these mountainous lands, it creates white wines with great aromatic freshness, a soft envelopment and an important structure that allows it to benefit from ageing in wood, which increases its complexity and opens it up to interesting evolutions.

The Identity of Pinot Blanc

This white grape variety belongs to the 'Pinot' family, although for years it was confused and mistaken for the Chardonnay grape, to the point of being erroneously called 'Pinot Chardonnay'. In fact, examining its organoleptic characteristics and its taste profile, there are many similarities between the two varieties: the buttery flavour, the aromatic freshness and that pleasant, plump softness that results from ageing in wood. Recent ampelographic studies however have cleared up any doubts. It has been demonstrated to be closely related to the Noir grape and to have evolved, through genetic mutation, from the Gris grape. In 1978, it received official recognition and was included in the national register of vine varieties in Italy.

The origin of Pinot Blanc is therefore French, even though it has found little space to express itself in these lands. Its spread in France is limited to the Alsace region, where an expressive, fresh and pleasant white wine is produced, which is often vinified on its own. In Italy, on the other hand, it has enjoyed good success and is used either alone or as a blend in various regional denominations. It has spread mainly in the northern areas, such as South Tyrol, Trentino, Veneto and Friuli, where the colder and more mountainous climate is better able to enhance its qualities. One of the most important characteristics of this variety is its strong intrinsic acidity, which makes it particularly suitable for sparkling wines. Indeed, it is part of the cuvées of the most prestigious and important Classic Method sparkling wines, such as the Franciacorta and Trento DOC varieties.

Outside the confines of the Italian peninsula, it has spread to Austria and Germany, where it has been renamed Weissburgunder. Cultivated with low yields per hectare and sometimes aged in barriques, it offers unique and highly-prized expressions with long ageing potential.


Its Characteristics in the South Tyrol Region

Among all the regions in Italy, the one that certainly deserves to be mentioned for the cultivation of this vine is South Tyrol. With more than 500 hectares under cultivation and over 15% of the land under vine, it has carved out a place for itself among the most representative vines on the regional wine scene. The grapes are often obtained from rather low yields, which allows the berries to concentrate better and thus be richer in substance. The result is a buttery, structured white wine with an overwhelming freshness that is often refined and softened by ageing in wooden barrels.

The Pinot Blanc South Tyrol denomination is undoubtedly the most famous and important, conveying all the different nuances of the same region. More than 80% of the land cultivated with this variety falls within this designation. The grapes faithfully reflect the classic territorial imprint of the area, giving rise to fresh, dry and clean expressions with aromas of mountain herbs and citrus fruits, as well as hints of white flowers and peach.

The Terlano Pinot Blancs account for the largest part of this niche of grapes that are cultivated outside the South Tyrol DOC region in the province of Bolzano. Its complex, varietal scents of aromatic herbs, acacia and white fruit, and its dry, medium-bodied taste, which is always distinguished by a vibrant freshness, make it one of the most symbolic wines of the South Tyrol region.


The Perfect Pairings

When it is vinified on its own and aged in stainless steel, it is often paired with raw fish, shellfish, fresh cheese and fried fish. It also makes a great impression on slightly more complex courses such as seafood pasta dishes, pasta with clams or mussels and delicate grilled fish. The more advanced, wood-aged versions can be paired with more elaborate dishes such as white meats, velvety soups, pies and fish soups.

On Callmewine you can enjoy a wide range of wines selected for you by our expert sommeliers. Discover the prices, characteristics and pairings of the Pinot Blancs on Callmewine's online wine shop and choose the perfect bottle for every occasion.