(Piquepoul pronunciation: Pi-ke-pou)
Piquepoul, also seen as Picpoul, is a grape variety that has been around since the 16th century. This ancient white grape variety, Piquepoul Blanc comes from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. The arrival of phylloxera and a tendency to mildew wreaked havoc on the grape in the 1880s. Through this disaster, European winemakers learned that the Piquepoul vines flourish in sandy soils and dry weather making them grow well in coastal regions.
Piquepoul Blanc, although the most popular form, is not the only Piquepoul grape variety that exists. Piquepoul Noir and Piquepoul Gris are natural mutations that have formed from the ancient white grape. Today, Piquepoul Gris is virtually extinct, and Piquepoul Noir is not seen as often as its white wine counterpart. However, the Piquepoul Noir is responsible for producing exquisite Piquepoul Rosé wines.
The name Piquepoul translates to “stings the lip,” given as a tribute to the grape's high acidity. Piquepoul white wine is a tart, full-bodied wine, with herbal and citrus aromas, and a lemony flavor. The commonly seen name of this wine is Piquepoul de Pinet and it is best drunk young and chilled. For food pairings, Piquepoul white wine is delightful when paired with shellfish, crustaceans, salmon, cod, and surprisingly charcuterie with rich cheeses.
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