Pinot Blanc is perhaps most widely vinified in Alsace, where it is produced both as a single varietal wine and blended with other varieties to yield sparkling, still, dry and botrytized wines. On its own, Pinot Blanc is light to medium bodied and responds well to restrained oak contact.
Pinot Blanc is a cool to moderately cool climate vine. It develops the most finesse in chalky soils, but is adaptable to many conditions. The vine is low to moderately vigorous with very high productivity, but is sensitive to rot in humid conditions. The large, notched leaves are nearly identical to Chardonnay’s, and its bunches are small and compact, with bright green, oval berries. The fruit is high in extract and moderate in sugar and potential alcohol. It is neutral in fragrance and its moderate acidity is enhanced in cooler growing regions.
Pinot Blanc originated in northern France and spread widely, partly because often mistaken for Chardonnay. Pinot Blanc may be a second generation mutation of Pinot Gris.