Pinot Meunier, pronounced [pi.no mø.nje], also known as Meunier or Schwarzriesling, is a variety of black wine grape most noted for being one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne (the other two are the black variety Pinot noir and the white Chardonnay). Until recently, producers in Champagne generally did not acknowledge Pinot Meunier, preferring to emphasise the use of the other noble varieties, but now Pinot Meunier is gaining recognition for the body and richness it contributes to Champagne. Pinot Meunier is approximately one-third of all the grapes planted in Champagne. It is a chimeric mutation of Pinot: its inner cell layers are composed of a Pinot genotype which is close to Pinot noir or Pinot gris; the outer, epidermal, layer is however made up of a mutant, distinctive, genotype. Pinot Meunier was first mentioned in the 16th century, and gets its name and synonyms (French Meunier and German Müller - both meaning miller) from flour-like dusty white down on the underside of its leaves.
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