Pinot Meunier is a black grape from France, known above all for being one of three varieties used for making Champagne.

Characteristics
One of the va­ri­e­ty’s main characteristics is that it has a layer of white hairs under the leaves (see also the variety Garnacha Peluda, which has the same characteristic). It is a cold resistant variety. More so does it have the capacity to deliver grapes with high acidity and acceptable sugar levels also under not so favourable conditions.

It ripens earlier than Pinot Noir, leading to offering grapes with less complexity. Flavours are of red fruit with a touch of flavoured sugar.

Wines
It is difficult to find dry varietal Pinot Meunier wines in France. It is instead used for Champagne production. In Germany, it is better known as Müllerrebe or Schwarzriesling. It is used for dry varietals as well as rosé and sparkling. Look for wines from Baden and Württemberg.

Food pairing
A dry varietal Pinot Meunier will pair very well with Pork as well as with Lamb dishes. The wine is best served at 13-15°C/55-59°F.

Where is it grown?
Pinot Meunier is, in spite of the role it plays in Champagne, not a large variety.

World-wide it covers 13.568 ha/33,528 ac, placing it as the fifty-fourth most planted variety in the world.

  • France 11.087 ha/27,396 ac, MPG 15
  • Germany 2.303 ha/ 5,691 ac, MPG 11

Apart from France and Germany, small plantings (e.g. less than 70 ha/173 ac) in USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, Argentina, Canada, and Spain. Australia reported 107 ha/265 ac in 2000, that are not included in the report from 2010.

History
Pinot Meunier is recognised as a French variety, although there are several, competing stories as to where the Pinot family has originated. As for its ampelographic origin, it is understood to be a mutation of Pinot Noir.