Pinot Noir - Red Wine Grape

Pinot Noir, as in the movie Sideways...

Pinot Noir probably originated about two thousand years ago in the Burgundy region of eastern France and later expanded into the Champagne region of northeastern France. Pinot Noir is the dominant red grape variety of the world-famous Burgundy region of France, especially in the Côte d’Or district. It is one of the three permitted varieties in the Champagne region of northeastern France. Pinot Noir is planted in many other countries, including the, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and the United States, especially California and Oregon, where it is the signature variety.

Classic Image of Pinot Noir (Pineau ou Noirien) Grapes Pineau ou Noirien image first published in Victor Rendu, Ampelographie francaise, comprenant la statistique, la description des meilleurs cepages, l'analyse chimique du sol et les procedes de culture et de vinification des principaux vignobles de la France. [2nd ed.]Paris: Masson, 1857.

Illustration courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Wine Literature of the World website.

When successfully grown and processed, cool-weather Pinot Noir yields a medium-bodied, complex wine with soft, velvety texture. It has a cherry/strawberry aroma and palate that ages well. Warm-weather Pinot Noir usually generates a less complex wine, with a weaker color. Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult grapes to grow and transform into wine. Bad Pinot Noir wines have a pronounced barnyard smell, however good Pinot Noirs may have a slight barnyard aroma. Pinot Noir may be blended with the red Pinot Meunier grape and the white Chardonnay grape to produce Champagne. The color in Pink or Rosé Champagne comes from Pinot Noir grape skins. In addition to Champagne, (can anyone add another wine to Champagne?) it may be blended with several white wine grape varieties to produce sparkling white wines, ranging from dry to sweet.

Enjoy dry Pinot Noir wines with Edam Cheese, Foie Gras, Salmon, Scallops, Swordfish, and Tuna. Enjoy Champagnes with virtually any high-quality food, or on its own.

See My Own French Wine Articles for a clickable list of French Pinot Noir wines.

See My Own German Wine Articles for a clickable list of German Pinot Noir wines.

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