Pinot Blanc originated in the Burgundy region of eastern France, where it once was an important variety. Known as Pinot Bianco in Italy, it has been grown there since the early 1800s. It is now grown in all regions of Italy. Pinot Blanc is found in the Alsace region of northeastern France, and is also grown in all regions of Italy, Germany, Austria, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada, California, and Oregon. While Pinot Blanc resembles Chardonnay, experts have determined that these two grape varieties are unrelated. The white Pinot Blanc grape is considered a genetic mutation or clone of the red Pinot Noir.
Pinot Blanc has a light, neutral aroma. It is highly acidic and is often full-bodied. Its skin contains a high level of tannins for a white grape. In Italy it is usually made into a light, fruity wine, whereas in California it may be heavily oaked, in fact, processed like Chardonnay, while costing less. In Alsace it is transformed into still, sparkling, and sweet wines.
Viticulture and winemaking