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Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir Grape Variety

Pinot Noir 

Pinot Noir is the 10th most-grown wine grape variety in the world. Wines made with Pinot Noir have cultivated a large following of devoted wine lovers.

Pinot Noir is a light to medium-bodied red wine famous for its complexity. It is appreciated for its aromas of red fruits, flowers, and spices, and earthy notes.

Primary flavors:

Cherry, raspberry, mushroom, cloves, hibiscus

Taste profile:


Light to medium body

Medium-high acidity

11.5 to 13.5% ABV


55 to 60°F / 12 to 15°C

Type of glass:
Aroma collector, Pinot Noir red wine glass.

10+ years

Food/wine pairings:

A very versatile food and wine pairing wine due to its higher acidity and lower tannins. Pinot Noir goes particularly well with duck, chicken, pork, and mushrooms.

6 Fun facts about Pinot Noir:

  1. Pinot Noir probably originated in Burgundy, France.
  2. Mark your calendar! August 18th is Pinot Noir Day.
  3. Pinot Noir enjoys the same climate as Chardonnay. You will often find these two grapes planted nearby.
  4. Blanc de Noirs Champagne is made from Pinot Noir (and occasionally Pinot Meunier).
  5. Pinot Noir is one of the few red grapes to be commonly processed into red, rosé, white and sparkling wine!
  6. DNA analysis revealed that Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc are merely mutations of the same grape!
  7. Pinot Noir vines have a tendency to prefer more intermediate climates with long, cool growing seasons. For this reason, you will frequently find Pinot Noir growing in sheltered valleys or near larger bodies of water.

Germany Is a Top Producer of Pinot Noir Grapes

Germany is the third major Pinot Noir producer, following France and the USA. Pinot Noir is commonly called Spätburgunder in Germany. The wines from Baden (in the Kaiserstuhl), the Palatinate, and the Nahe are worth searching out.

French Pinot Noir

Flavors: Cherry, hibiscus, rose petal, mushroom, potting soil

Pinot Noir wines are produced in a few locations across France, but the most famous region is Burgundy. The world’s most coveted and expensive Pinot Noir wines come from this region. Burgundy is an old wine region and has been producing famous wines for centuries.

When tasting French Pinot Noir, you may become aware of its more earthy and floral style. This is part of the Burgundy terroir. Burgundian Pinot Noirs are also famous for being incredibly complex and are able to age for an extended period of time.

American Pinot Noir

Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, Allspice, Darjeeling Tea, Vanilla

The most famous Pinot Noir producing region in the United States is Oregon, especially Willamette Valley. Oregon Pinot Noir is famous for producing a similar style of Pinot Noir to Burgundy. The wines often have a great balance between fruit and earth aromas and flavors.

California also produces a large amount of quality Pinot Noir. Compared to Oregon Pinot Noir, it is often riper, richer, and heavier-bodied. It also usually has more fruit aromas and fewer earthy notes. The majority of California Pinot Noir is grown in the northern part of the state, where temperatures are slightly cooler.

Want to read more about Pinot Noir? Try out these books!



Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours. Jancis Robinson 2012

Wine. Years. People. Events. Massandra Wine Collection 2010

The World Atlas of Wine: 8th Edition. Johnson, H & Robinson, J. 2019

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