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Varietal: Pinot Blanc
Pinto Blanc is a white mutation of Pinot Gris, itself a descendant of Pinot Noir. Although first discovered in Burgundy where it can still be included (in small quantities) in Bourgogne blanc and passetoutgrains, it is mainly associated with the Alsace region. Mainly grown in Alsace, where it is frequently blended with Auxerrois, it sits behind Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris in terms of area under vines . Due to the regions somewhat inconsistent appellation laws, some bottles labelled Pinot Blanc may not contain any Pinot Blanc at all. Rather, they could be a blend of Auxerrois and Pinot Noir. The grape is more widely planted across Austria and northern Italy where it goes by the names Weissburgunder and Pinot Bianco. When the right conditions prevail it is used to produce lusciously rich, botrytized TBAs, some of Austria's most concentrated and complex wines. Despite being largely ignored in the New World a small handful of high-end California and Oregon producers are coaxing some expressive and interesting wines with lower yields and higher must weights.
A country viewed by many as the home of fine wine, it is almost unique in terms of how embedded food and wine is in the nations culture. Given the diverse geography, with so much of the country providing the climate and soil suitable for viticulture, it is no surprise that its produces such an extensive and varied selection of wines. It is the country from where the vast majority of the New World's most popular "international" grapes and stylistic influences originate. While there might seem to be an alarming disparity between the most sought after wines (were a case might set you back as much as a deposit on a small house) and the millions of gallons of vin de table filling up the European wine lake every year, there is so much great value to be found between the two extremes. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhone may still dominate the market for fine wine, but regions including the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc & Roussillon and the South West are increasingly becoming excellent sources of good quality, affordable wines.
Alsace is a viticulturally and geographically unique region of France. Due to the historical toing and froing between France and Germany, Alsace has developed, along with its own dialect, a distinct style of food and wine. Unlike the rest of France who market their wine by location Alsace makes varietal wines, an overwhelming majority of which are white. Although separated from Germany by the Rhine, Alsace's climate is more similar to its neighboring country because of the Vosges mountain range to the west, but which extends south into Germany. The Vosges stops most clouds from heading east and making Alsace the driest region in France. Major varieties include Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Pinot Noir. Although still wines make up the biggest proportion, Crémants d’Alsace are becoming a popular, less expensive alternatives to Champagne. Most are made from Pinot Blanc, however some Blanc de Noirs, made from Pinot Noir, are also produced. Alsace’s trump card is probably its Vendange Tardive (late picked) and sub category, Sélection de Grains Nobles. These are some of the most complex and age worthy wines in the country and are only made in the finest of vintages when weather permits.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.