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Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir Grape Variety

Pinot Noir Grape Variety

Pinot Noir is the 10th highly grown grape variety in the world. Wines made with Pinot Noir have cultivated a large following of hardcore wine lovers. Pinot Noir is the greatest widely held light-bodied red wine in the world. It is appreciated for its aromas of red fruits, flowers, and spices, accentuated by a long and sweet finish.

Primary flavors:

Cherry, raspberry, mushroom, cloves, hibiscus

Taste profile:

Dry Medium body Medium-high acidity 11.5 to 13.5% ABV


Serve 55 to 60°F / 12 to 15°C Type of glass: Aroma collector, Pinot Noir red wine glass. Decant: 30 minutes before serving Cellar: 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 18 is Pinot Noir Day.
  3. Pinot Noir enjoys the same climate as Chardonnay. You will often find these two grapes planted nearby.
  4. White of Blacks Champagne uses Pinot Noir (and Pinot Meunier) as its base grape variety.
  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 Pinot Noir producer

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 finding and drinking.

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 – by far – is Burgundy. The world’s most coveted Pinot Noir vines grow on a narrow east-facing slope just south of Dijon. Burgundy is an incredibly old wine region and was first provided by Cistercian monks in the Middle Ages. When tasting French Pinot Noir, you may become aware of its more earthy and floral style. This is part of the Burgundy terroir. In fact, many great winemakers here choose to ferment with whole bunches of grapes to increase the tannin in their Pinot Noir wines. This effort can lead to bitterness from the beginning but results in wines that are more than 20 years old.

California Pinot Noir

Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, Allspice, Darjeeling Tea, Vanilla The United States is very diverse. That said, most part of American Pinot Noir wines comes from California. While California might otherwise be too hot for this grape, you’ll find that Pinot Noir excels in places that receive the refreshing breezes (and morning fog) of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean controls temperatures in areas like Sonoma, the southern Napa Valley, and the Central Coast (including Santa Barbara). California Pinot Noir is generally rich, fruity, and lush. The sun and controlled temperatures allow winemakers to pick easily at the perfect time when maturity is optimal. In addition to the rich fruit flavors, many of these wines have subtle nuances of allspice due to aging in imported. French oak barrels.

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

Land and Wine- The French Terroir Passion for Pinot- A Journey Through America's Pinot Noir Country


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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