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Term Definition
Pierce's disease

A bacterial disease spread by small insects called sharpshooters. Found in 1892 there is still no cure: an infected vine will die within 5 years. The only solution is to quarentine the area and sanitise the whole area. This has been a recent problem for for southern California and Mexico.

Pinot Bianco

See Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc

Pronounced: Pee-no Blon

(aka Pinot Bianco, Weissburgunder, Clevner, Klevner, Beli Pinot)

White grape which is a member of the Pinot family. Produces full-bodied, dry, crisp whites. Similar to Chardonnay and often given the same treatments (for example, aged in oak to give smokey flavours), but Pinot Blanc has fewer fruit flavours. Grown widely in Alsace (France), Northern Italy, Austria, Germany, Central Europe, California. Also used to make sweet wines up to Trockenbeerenauslese level (esp. Austria).

Pinot Grigio

Pronounced: Pee-no Gree-jee-o

See Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris

Pronounced: Pee-no Gree

(aka Pinot Grigio, Malvoisie, Ruländer, Grauburgunder, Szurkebarát)

A member of the Pinot family, this white grape produces full-bodied, deep coloured, gently aromatic white wines. It is grown in many areas, and has different characteristics in each.

The Italians (who call it Pinot Grigio) pick the grapes early, so much of the aromatic aromas are lost to create a dry, crisp, more neutral wine. In the Loire (where the grape is known as Malvoisie), it has smoky flavours. Germany differs slightly in that the grape has different names depending on the sweetness of the resultant wine: dry wines are called "Grauburgunder", while sweet wines "Ruländer". It is also grown throughout Central Europe and California.

Pinot Noir

Pronounced: Pee-no Nwar

Grown in a relatively cool climate, this red grape can create fantastic wines, with wonderfully complex aromas and flavours; but grown in too hot a region, it becomes 'jammy' and loses its grace.

Fine examples of Pinot Noir are found in Burgundy (France). These wines are usually made from 100% Pinot Noir. In fact, this grape is rarely blended with any others. The one exception is Champagne, where this grape is blended with Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.

Other notable regions are New Zealand and Oregon (US).

Good Pinot Noirs will have flavours/aromas of cherry, raspberry, game.


Pronounced: Pr-sec-co

A white grape and a sparkling wine produced in North Eastern Italy. A wine can only be termed "Prosecco" when it is from the specific DOCG Prosecco area in Italy AND it is made from at least 85% prosecco grapes. The remaining 15% can be from other white grapes grown in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia regions.

Prosecco is produced using the Tank Method (where secondary fermentation takes place in steel tanks rather Champagne's method of using bottles). See 'Tank method' for further information.


Level of sweetness in Tokaji Aszu dessert wines: from the lowest 3 puttonyos up to the sweetest of 6 puttonyos.

The term 'puttonyos' originates from the hod used to carry the botrytised grapes.


Pronounced: Reez-zling

Although this white grape is susceptable to botrytis and produces marvellously sweet wines, many people are unaware that dry versions are available. For this reason, it is a pretty unfashionable grape, thus is often a bargain.

It is highly aromatic and produces wines that are delicate and full of strong aromas/flavours of minerals, flowers, lime, honey. In some quality aged versions, you may also smell/taste a petrol-like characteristic: although this sounds strange, it is actually pleasant but can only really be explained by experiencing it!

Due to the delicate nature of Riesling, these wines are rarely oaked.

Good regions are Germany, Alsace (France), Autralia, Austria.


See Pinot Gris

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