The white grape variety comes from France. Synonyms are Arbois Blanc (second main name), Herbois, Menu, Menu Pineau de Vouvray, Menu Pinot, Orboe, Orbois, Orboue, Petit Pineau, Pinot Verdet and Verdet. It must not be confused with the varieties Chenin Blanc (Gros Pineau), Petit Meslier (Orbois) or Riesling, despite the fact that they appear to have synonyms or morphological similarities. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2013, it is one of the numerous direct descendants of the Gouais Blanc (White Heunisch) variety; the second parent is unknown. It is said to have been mentioned in 1530 by the well-known Franciscan monk François Rabelais (1494-1553). The variety Arbois Rose is a colour mutation.
The medium ripening vine is easily susceptible to botrytis and is well suited to cool, climatic conditions. It produces rustic, spicy white wines with moderate acidity and apple aroma. Despite the synonym Arbois Blanc, it does not originate from the Arbois area in the Jura, but is cultivated on the Loire. There it is registered in the appellations Cheverny, Touraine and Valençay and is often blended with the varieties Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. In 2010, 205 hectares of vineyards were registered in France with a decreasing tendency - ten years earlier it was 380 hectares (statistics Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)