Pinot Meunier Wine

Pinot Meunier (historically just Meunier) is a dark-berried grape variety most famously used in the Champagne blend. It is a clonal mutation of the Pinot group, therefore sharing the same DNA fingerprint as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other Pinot derivatives.

Less highly acclaimed than its partners Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier is something of a quiet workhorse in Champagne. The word Meunier is French for "miller", and refers here to the "floury" appearance of the underside of the vines' leaves. 

Pinot Meunier Grapes

Pinot Meunier tends to be planted in areas too cold for the other two. It is widely used as an insurance grape against poor vintages as it buds later, ripens earlier and is more accepting of cooler mesoclimates.

In the vineyard, the variety is prone to stunted growth of vegetation. Therefore, it is best suited to sites well protected from damaging winds and frost pockets. It tolerates a wide range of soil types and prefers sunny slopes that maximise sunshine hours.    

The fact that Pinot Meunier matures more quickly than Pinot Noir makes it ideal to help soften non-vintage Champagne wines in their youth. However, on its own, Pinot Meunier does not age well. It is prone to fall out of balance if not supported by its Champagne stablemates. Consequently, it is less common for high proportions of Pinot Meunier to be used in vintage Champagne.

Very few varietal Pinot Meunier wines are commercially produced and are regarded as something of a curiosity by most consumers. They are typically lighter in color than Pinot Noir, but has acid levels that are slightly higher. The wines typically taste of confected fruit and occasionally with slightly smoky flavors.

Where is Pinot Meunier grown?  

In 2016, France reported 12,130 hectares (30,000ac) of the variety, accounting for approximately 80% of Pinot Meunier in the entire world. Outside of the Champagne, it is found in the Loire Valley as well as Moselle, albeit in dwindling quantities. 

In Germany, it is grown under its synonyms Schwarzriesling, Müllerrebe and Müller-Traube. Here, red and rosé wines made from the variety are somewhat more common. The Württemberg region makes a local speciality called Schillerwein, a crisp light pink wine. However, Pinot Meunier has only recently begun to be used in any scale in German sparkling wine production.

Carneros AVA is the Californian centre for Pinot Meunier, although it can also be found in mulitple other AVAs throughout America. While it has a long history in Australia, it is grown extensively only within the Grampians region of Victoria.

The variety is also grown in small quantities throughout England, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, and New Zealand.

Synonyms include: Meunier, Gris Meunier, Farineux, Noirin Enfarine, Mullerrebe, Muller-Traube, Schwarzriesling, Dusty Miller, Miller's Burgundy.

Popular blends include: Champagne Blend, Pinot Meunier – Pinot Noir.

Food pairings for Pinot Meunier wines include:

  • Tuna rillettes
  • Salt and pepper squid
  • Prawns steamed in banana leaves
Production by region Expand/collapse

Most Popular Pinot Meunier Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Region
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Jerome Prevost La Closerie Les Beguines, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 1,698th 92 $150
Jerome Prevost La Closerie Fac-Simile Extra Brut Rose, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 3,486th 91 $263
Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Brut 5,022nd 91 $73
Domaine Aurelien Lurquin 'Les Crayeres du Levant' Meunier Brut Zero, Champagne, France Champagne Brut Nature - Zero 8,259th 91 $278
Bereche et Fils Vallee de la Marne Rive Gauche Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 8,494th 91 $83
Emmanuel Brochet 'Les Hauts Meuniers' Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 8,747th 92 $175
Georges Laval Cumieres Les Hautes Chevres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne, France Champagne Brut Nature - Zero 9,004th 93 $238
Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 9,131st 92 $103
Mousse Fils 'Special Club' Les Fortes de Terres Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Noirs 10,731st 92 $102
Benoit Dehu 'La Rue des Noyers', Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 10,779th 92 $89
Laherte Freres 'Rose de Meunier' Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 13,572nd 90 $54
Nicolas Maillart 'Mont Martin' Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Brut 14,103rd 93 $54
Mousse Fils 'Special Club' Rose de Saignee, Champagne, France Champagne Rose 17,251st 93 $139
Laherte Freres Les Vignes d'Autrefois Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 17,584th 91 $72
Christophe Mignon ADN de Meunier Brut Nature, Champagne, France Champagne Brut Nature - Zero 21,324th 90 $56
Vadin-Plateau Renaissance Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 21,673rd 89 $44
Bruno Michel 'La Demi Lune' Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Noirs 22,441st 90 $62
Billecart-Salmon 'Les Rendez-Vous de Billecart-Salmon No 1' Meunier Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 23,239th 91 $77
Tarlant La Vigne d'Or Blanc de Meuniers Brut Nature, Champagne, France Champagne Brut Nature - Zero 26,243rd 92 $146
Francoise Bedel Cuvee Comme Autrefois Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Noirs 26,523rd 93 $113
Caze-Thibaut 'Naturellement' Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 27,916th 90 $52
Francis Orban Extra Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Extra Brut 27,916th 88 $41
Laurent Lequart Reserve Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Brut 28,814th 86 $34
Christophe Baron Charly-Sur-Marne Les Hautes Blanches Vignes Brut Nature, Champagne, France Champagne Brut Nature - Zero 29,142nd 95 $160
Domaine Chandon Pinot Meunier, Carneros, USA Carneros 30,802nd 88 $43
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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