A leaf from the Pinot Meunier Vine

The Variety

Pinot Meunier is a variety of wine grape whose history can be traced all the way back to the 16th century. Its main claim to fame is as one of three varieties used in the production of Champagne.

The name Pinot Meunier is drawn from one of the grape’s identifying characteristics, flour-like white dust found on the underside of its leaves. The French word Meunier is defined as “miller”—a person who makes flour.

Pinot Meunier accounts for 32 percent of plantings in the Champagne region, slightly more than Chardonnay at 30 percent, but less than Pinot Noir at 38 percent. Other approved varieties are Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

This grape exhibits better cold weather resistance than Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and is practically well suited to the more argillaceous (clay) soils of the Marne Valley.

Why Pinot Meunier Champagne?

Of all the varieties planted in the region, Pinot Meunier has lately come into its own as one of the hottest and most influential. Vignerons, such as Champagne Christophe Baron, who have access to old vines in special sites are capable of producing some of the most stunning examples of Champagne available today.