Pineau is a red French grape grown predominantly in the Loire Valley, particularly in the regions of Anjou and Touraine. The name comes from the French pin meaning pine, in connection with the tightly-clustered bunches that resemble pine cones. Being quite thin-skinned, the wines produced from Pineau tend to be very light in colour, similar to Pinot Noir (with which it is often confused).
It is very rarely seen outside of the Loire Valley, where it used to make all styles of wine – white, red, rose and blends. As a single varietal wine, it shows light, red berry characters – cherry, raspberry, strawberry – but what differentiates it from other light-bodied reds, is its characteristic aroma of white pepper. This is Pineau’s signature – its calling card. In cooler years, this white pepper character can be quite overwhelming, but in warmer, riper years, and coupled with fresh red berry notes, the pepperiness of Pineau is simply wonderful!
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