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Pinot Meunier

Pronunciation: Pee-no Moon-yay

The black-berried Pinot Meunier is characterized by a layer of white hairs on the underside of the leaves that look like a dusting of flour, hence the name Meunier, meaning ‘miller’ in French…Early budding and ripening, though it generally buds later and ripens earlier than Pinot Noir and is, therefore, less prone to winter frosts and coulure and more reliably productive. Favors rich clay soils but also well suited to calcareous soil, showing little susceptibility to chlorosis. Susceptible to grape moth and botrytis bunch rot.

Pinot Meunier makes more obviously fruity, earlier maturing wine than does Pinot Noir – although varietal versions are relatively rare, for its wine is most commonly blended with Pinot and Chardonnay base wines for sparkling wine.

It was once widely planted in the far north of France but it is now chiefly found, and valued, in Champagne, particularly in the cooler north-facing vineyards of the damp and frost-prone vineyards of the Vallee de la Marne. Not only does it fare better than Pinot Noir on such sites but it also tends to have higher acidity yet can achieve comparable sugar levels, making it good blending component with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is said to contribute youthful fruitiness but not longevity and few growers prize it enough to make a varietal Meunier-dominated wine.

Planted in: France, England, Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

Source: Wine Grapes 

A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavors

Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamouz

Published by the Penguin Group

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