English Grapes

Pinot Blanc

English Pinot Blanc is still in its infancy, but has so much potential. This classic grape variety wasn’t even in the top 10 most planted in the most recent UK vineyard survey. Yet a few brave pioneers are now exploring the potential of the grape, and the early results are very exciting.

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What is Pinot Blanc?

Like its close cousin Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc originated as a mutation of a Pinot Noir grape, which in the case of Pinot Blanc resulted in white skins, hence it makes white wines.

The grape is orginally from Burgundy, yet is probably best known in France’s Alsace region, where you’ll often see it as a named grape variety on a local wine’s front label. However, there are also extensive plantings of the same grape under its Italian name – Pinot Bianco – in north-east Italy. Here, the grape can produce wines with impeccable balance between ripe, rounded, succulent fruit and racy mineral acidity.

What is English Pinot Blanc?

English Pinot Blanc is still a pioneers’ pursuit. As of the most recent UK vineyard survey in 2022, it wasn’t even in the top ten most planted grape varieties. Yet at its best, English Pinot Blanc presents more than a passing resemblance to those from Italy’s Alto Adige region, with the naturally brisk, mineral acidity of UK-grown wines balancing beautifully with the grape’s succulent, melon and peach fruit character.

This flavour profile means that it’s a brilliant food wine.

What Does English Pinot Blanc Taste Like?

Like most grapes grown in the UK’s cool climate, English Pinot Blanc offers refreshingly mineral, brisk acidity. This moreish zing is a perfect foil to the grape’s naturally succulent fruit characteristics of melon and peach.

In warmer vintages like 2022, English Pinot Blanc can even start to develop exotic tropical fruit notes of mango, and so goes brilliant with lightly-spiced foods.

white wine for spring Stopham Estate Pinot Blanc

English Pinot Blanc

Food and Wine Pairing

English Pinot Blanc is a brilliant match for all sorts of seasonal British ingredients, including the notoriously tricky asparagus. Especially if you enclose it in a bit of tempura batter first!

  • Salmon sashimi (go for warmer vintages like 2020 or 2022 if you like a good dollop of wasabi).
  • Honey-sriracha crispy chicken wings (likewise go for a warmer vintage).
  • Tempura-battered asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli.
  • Pasta carbonara.
  • Full flavoured creamy UK cheeses like Baron Bigod.