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Pinot Meunier/Müllerrebe

Pinot Meunier, pronounced [pi.no mø.nje], also known as Meunier or Black Riesling, is a red wine grape variety best known for being one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne are used (the other two are the red variety Pinot noir and the white Chardonnay). Until recently, producers in Champagne generally did not recognise Pinot Meunier, preferring to emphasise the use of the other noble grape varieties, but now Pinot Meunier is gaining recognition for the body and richness it gives to Champagne. Pinot Meunier accounts for about a third of all grapes planted in Champagne. It is a chimeric mutation of Pinot: its inner cell layers are made up of a Pinot genotype close to Pinot noir or Pinot gris; but the outer, epidermal layer is made up of a mutated, independent genotype. First mentioned in the 16th century, Pinot Meunier takes its name and its synonyms (French Meunier and German Müller) from the floury, dusty white down on the underside of its leaves.