Home > Grapes, Pinot Blanc, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #113: Grape Trivia – Pinot Blanc

Weekly Wine Quiz #113: Grape Trivia – Pinot Blanc

September 6, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
Pinot Blanc Grapes. Source: Wikipedia

Pinot Blanc Grapes. Source: Wikipedia

The Wine Quiz series is not meant to intimidate. The whole idea here is to have fun and learn something new. When answering the questions, it is fully encouraged to use all available sources of information, including Google or any other search engine. There are no embarrassing answers – the most embarrassing thing is not giving it a try…

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

We are continuing our grape trivia series,  and today’s subject is Pinot Blanc.

How many of you can consciously remember that they had a Pinot Blanc wine? Yeah, I thought so (and I’m doing a quiz about it – not very wise, huh?). Well, what else we can expect if the grape is a mutation of a mutation, right? Pinot Noir, proudly presiding  over the Pinot family, is a very mutation-prone grape. So first, there was a Pinot Gris, a grey-colored mutation of the Pinot Noir. And Pinot Blanc – yes, you guessed it – is a mutation of a Pinot Gris.

Nevertheless, Pinot Blanc used to be quite popular world wide. In the 1700s, plantings at the famous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy had 20% of the Pinot Blanc – now there are none. Pinot Blanc still allowed to be used in Burgundy in the wines labeled Bourgogne Blanc, but the plantings of Pinot Blanc in Burgundy are practically non-existent. Same story is in Champagne, where Pinot Blanc is allowed to be used, but practically never is. Even in Alsace, where the grape still is widely planted, Pinot Blanc stands in a very interesting position. Alsace is the only region in France where the name of the grape is always put on the label. However, event if the label says “Pinot Blanc”, any of the Pinot family grapes ( including unvinified Pinot Noir, which will produce clear juice), can be used in the Pinot Blanc wine.

One of the major characteristics of the Pinot Blanc is its neutral taste. The grape has good acidity, and the neutral taste allows it to be added to the blends for the body and acidity, and also to be vinified on its own, with and without oak, allowing terroir to shine through. Then in the times when everybody are looking for differentiators, that neutral taste works against the grape. Also, Pinot Blanc grows in the tight clusters, thus it requires dry conditions to avoid the mildew setting in. Looking on all these challenges, it is not surprising that the worldwide plantings of Pinot Blanc are declining. But – the grape is still planted in literally each and every major wine producing country, and don’t worry, it is not going to disappear any time soon, as it is still one of the 30 most planted white grapes in the world.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Below is the list of some of the countries growing Pinot Blanc. Sort this list by the area plantings of the Pinot Blanc, from the lowest to the highest:
a. Austria
b. France
c. Germany
d. Italy

Q2: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are Pinot Blanc wines rated in the Classic category

Q3: In Europe, Pinot Blanc was often confused with and often treated during winemaking the same as _______

Q4: In California, the grape which was brought in as a Pinot Blanc, in reality happened to be  ____?

Q5: True or False: from 2000 to 2010, worldwide plantings of the Pinot Blanc dropped more (percentage-wise) than the plantings of its sibling, Pinot Gris, have increased.

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

  1. September 6, 2014 at 11:58 am

    1.Austria,France, Germany,Italy 2. False 3. auxerrois 4. chardonnay 5. true (I am guessing Anatoli at some of the answers but I tried.

    • talkavino
      September 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks for playing, Suzanne, very good work! My answers will be coming on Wednesday.

  2. Mario Plazio
    September 7, 2014 at 4:57 am

    1. Italy
    2. Germany
    3. France
    4. Austria

    Q2: False

    Q3: Chardonnay



    Mario Plazio

    • talkavino
      September 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks for playing, very good answers!

  3. September 7, 2014 at 8:50 am

    1. Italy, Germany, Austria, France
    2. False
    3. Chardonnay
    4. Muscadet
    5. False

    • talkavino
      September 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Very good answers, thanks for playing! My answers are coming on Wednesday

  1. September 10, 2014 at 11:05 am

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