Pinot Blanc, “green” grape variety

13 March 2023

Many of you already know our forty-year history of research and experimentation with Pinot Blanc.

Our first plants date back to 1981 and are located within the Mirabella vineyard in Paderno Franciacorta, a village next to our headquarter at Rodengo Saiano.

Ours was the first 100% Pinot Bianco from Franciacorta, produced with grapes from the 2015 harvest and labeled Vino Spumante di Qualità as it is not yet provided for by the DOCG Regulations. That first wine is now part of the Demetra line, together with Millesimato, Pinot Noir and Rosé.

Over the years we have continued to invest in Pinot Blanc, well aware of its critical issues in the field, above all the sensitivity to botrytis and acid rot.

Over time, our founder Teresio Schiavi has in fact developed a preference for this variety, which brings finesse to the cuvées by balancing the personalities of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Today we cultivate about 12 hectares of Pinot Blanc, the largest extension in Franciacorta, and the old vines are still productive.

Our choice seemed risky – to insist on planting and using Pinot Blanc instead of the “easier to manage” Chardonnay – but it turned out to be successful because the global warming minimized the known criticalities of the grape and, on the other hand, the plant proved to be much less sensitive to wood diseases and necrotic yellow vein, above all flavescence and black wood. But above all the slower metabolic cycle of sugars and the earlier maturation compared to Chardonnay allow Pinot Blanc to maintain excellent levels of acidity even in hot years, which unfortunately are increasingly frequent. Thus, that grape, which looked like a “lesser child” of Mother Nature, is revealing its unexpected green attitude.

To study its possibilities even better, we planted the green area adjacent to the cellar with a collection vineyard: 14 rows with 200 cuttings of the available clones (two German, two French, and three Rauscedo). Two rows will be planted at the end of March with 200 rooted vines of the Mirabella clone, coming from the mass selection of the old vines. In this way, we will be able to understand the evolution in the field of the “mothers” of our future plants.

The details of the project, constantly updated, are illustrated on the Pinot Blanc Project page of our website.

Vigneto Mirabella