“To be one of the great wine grapes on the planet, New World winemakers must respect the traditional methods used to make Pinot Blanc into great wine,” said Paul Roberts, owner and winemaker at Deep Creek Cellars, who makes a Pinot Blanc from Maryland-grown grapes. “The variety’s virtues, as a wine, are its delicacy and subtle style.”
Pinot Blanc is equally defined by its bouquet and texture. Roberts explains that the goal of his Pinot Blanc – a seductively soft yet dry wine containing an array of subtle elements including minerals, kiwi, apple pie and bread crust – is to make the taster crave another sip. While sometimes embodying a similar flavor profile to Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc is not overly rich, too heavy or full-bodied, therefore retaining taste without fully exhibiting its intensity.
Wines produced from the Pinot Blanc grape are as diverse as the countries in which it is grown. In France, Italy and Hungary the grape yields a full-bodied white wine. In Germany and Austria, the wine can be made dry or sweet. In Alsace, France, winemakers blend the grape with “the true Pinot” – Klevner – as well as Auxerrois grapes to produce a uniquely Alsatian flavor, which is spicy, smoky, and moderately acidic. This style yields a different—yet equally delicious—Pinot Blanc.
“Above all with these grapes, one must let the fruit and the land (what the French call “terroir”) show themselves,” explains Roberts. He describes Maryland’s Pinot Blanc varietals to be terroir-critical, subtle and alternative. Made artisanally and well, Pinot Blanc “is a sensual, lifting and satisfying wine” to be crafted and enjoyed in Maryland, across the country and around the world.