Grape Vari­ety: Pinot Meunier

Geog­ra­phy: France, par­tic­u­larly the Cham­pagne region. Also grown in lim­ited quan­ti­ties in other parts of the world.

Viti­cul­ture: Grapes rarely ripen fully in the north­ern Cham­pagne area. The skins of this high qual­ity, red grape never develop much color this far north.

Varietal/Blend: Lends soft­ness to Cham­pagne. It is one of the 3 grapes along with Chardon­nay and Pinot Noir that make up the bulk of Champagne.

Fla­vor & Char­ac­ter: Lacks the finesse of the other main grapes used for mak­ing Cham­pagne, but does con­tribute flavor.

Vini­fi­ca­tion: Care­ful press­ing of this red-skinned grape allows the juice to be removed, vir­tu­ally with­out col­oration. It ages faster than Chardon­nay and Pinot Noir and there­fore has the advan­tage of adding fla­vor and matu­rity to young Champagne.

Style: Not noted for its indi­vid­ual style—rather as a desir­able fla­vor con­stituent of Champagne.

Body, Dry/Sweet: Its high acid­ity and light­weight make it an ideal grape for the pro­duc­tion of Champagne.

Notes: Pinot Meu­nier has not trav­eled much out­side the Cham­pagne region of France.