A classic Alsatian and Italian varietal. Also grown in Germany and Austria as Klevner or Weiss Burgunder, Pinot Blanc is a somewhat vigorous grape that can produce fruity whites that range from crisp and fresh to flabby and oily. The better examples from low yields retain a higher natural acidity. Often used in the production of sparkling wine in the U.S. Notes of apples, stone fruits and sometimes almonds, are common.
In Alsace Pinot Blanc is often blended with its country-cousin the Auxerrois blanc and sold as Pinot Blanc. The varietal has found a home in the northern reaches of Italy as Pinot Bianco. Perhaps the best expressions of Pinot Blanc come from Germany and Austria where it is known as Weiss Burgunder, a name given for the variety's similarity to Chardonnay when very ripe. Various styles of Weiss Burgunder range from crisp to heavy and rich with high alcohol levels and an ability to age. Pinot Blanc also takes well to Botrytis and can produce stunning examples of Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.