Almost exclusively used in the production of Champagne, Pinot Meunier is a late budding and early ripening red variety that was once planted extensively throughout northern France. When blended into Champagne’s eponymous sparkling wine, Pinot Meunier adds lively fruit. Chardonnay adds brightness and Pinot Noir is appreciated for structure and weight. Pinot Meunier has acidity levels higher than in Pinot Noir, making it a prized choice for Champagne growers. It thrives in cool north-facing vineyards and is able to withstand damp or frost-prone valleys. Somm Secret—Not surprisingly, it does well in Germany where it goes by Müllerrebe or confusingly, Schwarzriesling.