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Term Definition
Pétrus, Château

One of the most expensive wines in the world. Chateau Petrus is in Bordeaux, France.


A louse accidentally imported into France from the US around 1850. While US vines were resistant to the bugs, the roots of French vines were attacked and resulted in the death of the vine. The bug quickly spread across France, devastating most of it. Although there is no "cure" to Phylloxera, the solution is to 'grub up' (dig up) the vines and replant the vineyard: grafting the French grape on to an American root. This is obviously expensive. A few regions have so far avoided the virus: for example, Chile.

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.

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