The red grape variety comes from France. Synonyms are Blue Muller Grape, Muller Vine, Muller Grape, Muller Woman, Postitsch Grape, Black Blue Muller Vine, Black Riesling(Germany, Austria); Auvernat Gris, Auvernat Meunier, Blanche Feuille, Carpinet, Farineux Noir, Fresillon, Fromenté, Gris Meunier, Meunier, Meunier Gris, Morillon Taconné, Noirien de Vuillapans, Noirin Enfarine, Plant de Brie, Trézillon(France); Morone Farinaccio(Italy); Rana Modra Mlinaria, Rana Modra Mlinarica, Rana Modra Molinaria(Croatia); Pinot Negro(Spain); Molnar Szölö, Molnar Toke, Molnar Toke Kék(Hungary); Black Riesling, Dusty Miller, Miller's Burgundy, Miller's Grape, Wrotham Pinot(USA). It is a mutation of Pinot Noir; it is therefore one of the Pinot varieties (see there in detail). It got its name (Meunier = Müller) because the underside of the hairy leaves and the tips of the shoots appear as if they were dusted with flour. Three somatic mutations of Pinot Meunier are Ruby grape, Velvet red (but is considered a mutation of Pinot Noir, especially in Germany) and Pinot Meunier Dwarf.
The early ripening vine (much earlier than Pinot Noir) is susceptible to botrytis and chlorosis. It produces qualitatively lower and more acidic red wines than Pinot Noir and is therefore rarely vinified as a pure variety. However, this variety is excellently suited as a base wine for the production of sparkling wines. With this characteristic, it has become known as the third main variety for ChampagneChampagne in France, next to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But also outside France it is often used for the production of sparkling wine.
The variety was first mentioned in France in 1690 under the name Morillon Taconné. It is mainly present in the north in the Champagne (one third of the area under vines), Loire and Alsace. The total area under cultivation in 2009 was 11,088 hectares. In Germany, a total of 2,303 hectares were recorded in 2009, of which 1,691 were in Württemberg. Although it is permitted in Austria, no quantities were recorded in 2009. Further stocks in Europe in 2010 were recorded in England (50 ha), Italy (14 ha) and Spain (1 ha). Overseas in 2010, it was represented in Argentina (12 ha), Canada (5 ha), New Zealand (19 ha) and South Africa (13 ha), and in the USA (66 ha) in California and Oregon. In 2010, the variety occupied a total of 13,570 hectares of vineyards, with an upward trend. Compared to the year 2000 with 10,832 hectares at that time, this was an increase of a quarter. It thus occupied 54th place in the worldwide grape variety ranking.