Pinot Meunier (PEE-no MOON-yay)

The word meunier means “miller,” a reference to the thin layer of white hairs on the underside of the leaves that gives them a downy, floury appearance. Pinot meunier is a clone of pinot noir, though in the classic Champagne triumvirate of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier, it is usually presented as a variety in and of itself. The clone is valued for its early ripening, making it less susceptible to winter frosts, and for its ability to ripen well in soils that have clay in them (as along the Marne River valley of Champagne).


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