Italy’s pinot bianco (called pinot blanc in France and weissburgunder in Germany) is arguably the best in the world. Aside from some excellent examples from Germany, nowhere else does the variety reach the level of purity and precision it does in northeastern Italy. A mutation of pinot grigio (which is in turn a mutation of pinot noir), pinot bianco is more floral, steely and mineral-driven than pinot grigio, which can be surprisingly fleshy and rich in its resiny, honeyed yellow fruit aromas and flavors. In Italy, when it’s not inadvertently contaminated with chardonnay, pinot bianco is at its best, offering textbook aromas and flavors of white flower, beeswax and green apple. The best Italian pinot bianco is produced in Alto Adige (where it is also labelled by the German name of weissburgunder) and Friuli Venezia Giulia, though the styles differ. While Alto Adige’s examples are floral and minerally, FVG’s tend to be richer in structure and higher in alcohol, though the aroma and flavor profiles remain similar. Some good pinot biancos are also produced in Trentino and Lombardy.