Pinot Blanc is a white wine grape varietal - with its origins linked with Burgundy in France. Due to it being a ‘point genetic’ mutation of Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir grape is genetically unstable and will occasionally go through a ‘point mutation’ in which a vine produces red fruit except for one cane which produces white fruit.
Historically, Pinot Blanc was used both in Burgundy and Champagne. It is still allowed in Champagne - and small amounts may in principle be blended into some Burgundy wines, though very small areass are cultivated in both regions. As of 2012, there were 1400 hectares of Pinot Blanc in France, with most plantings found in Alsace, where it is used for still white wines - and is the most common varietal used for sparkling wine, Crémant d'Alsace.


Somewhat confusingly, the designation of Pinot Blanc for Alsace AOP wine does not necessarily mean that the wine is 100% Pinot Blanc. The designation means that it is a white wine made from Pinot varietals. Under Alsace wine appellation rules, the varietals Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir (vinified white) may all be used, but a blend of Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois is the most common.
Part of the Burgundian family of vines whose parents have been revealed by DNA analysis to be the noble, dark-skinned Pinot Noir and the rather obscure white varietal Gouais Blanc. Pinot Blanc's siblings include: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gamay, Aligoté, Sacy, Auxerrois and the Muscadet grape, Melon de Bourgogne.
Pinot Blanc often shows aromas of apple, citrus fruit, strong floral characteristics, stone fruits and mineral notes. Regardless of their exact composition, most Pinot Blanc wines today are vinified in stainless steel tank, though more prestigious examples are fermented in large, 100% previously used oak barrels.
For easy, good-value drinking in a style that is likely to approachable by all. I often recommend a good quality Alsace Pinot Blanc such as Gisselbrecht. Though generally enjoyed while young - Pinot Blanc can also be treated more lightly and made into a crisper, firmer wine that can have some ability to age.