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Burgundy varieties

See under Pinot.

There are many hypotheses about the origin of the Pinot grape. A descent from the ancient grape variety Allobrogica mentioned by Columella (1st half of the 1st century) and Pliny the Elder (23-79) cannot be verified. There is no genetic or botanical evidence to support the assumption that it came to France from Egypt via Greece. It cannot be proven (but it is not impossible) that Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) brought it to the Rhine and had it planted there in his palace of Ingelheim (Rheinhessen). That his great-grandson Charles III, called the Fat (839-888), had the variety planted in 884 near Lake Constance in his "royal vineyard" is not proven, as no variety names are mentioned in the document in question. And last but not least, the origin Italy assumed on the basis of the synonym Clevner is also unlikely.

The original home of the Pinot grape is thought to be the area between Lake Geneva (Switzerland) and the Rhône valley (France). The Cistercian Order brought it to the Rheingau in the Middle Ages, and from here it spread throughout Europe. According to the most likely variant, the French term "Pinot" derives from the elongated shape of the Pinot grapes, which are quite similar to the cone of a pine tree (French "pin"). However, the Pinot varieties are by no means one family, as this would wrongly associate different relationships. Rather, they are the result of mutations of a Pinot variety. Clonal mutants are also counted, i.e. descendants that are only "slightly" modified compared to mutants. In any case, they were among the "nobler" Franconian varieties in the Middle Ages:

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Dr. Christa Hanten

For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.

Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien

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