If you are a wine lover, you may already know something about Pinot Noir: it has a strong fruity flavor and is native to France. The wine is generally lighter and very charming. Pinot Noir is now extremely popular in the world, but the price may be a bit expensive. Are you ready now to explore this wine in depth?
Pinot Noir is a master of teasing in wine, and Pinot Noir grapes have a breathtaking style and history. Understand these ten things, and you will feel even more different when you open a bottle of Pinot Noir in the future.
- Pinot Noir = Black Pine Cone?
Ancient grape growers were very pragmatic, so the names they gave to the grapes were simple and clear. Pinot refers to the appearance of grape bunches like pine cones, which is the characteristic of this variety. Noir means “black” in French. In short, Pinot Noir is the black pinecone grape variety in French.
- The Romans and monks were the first Pinot lovers
Pinot Noir is considered to be one of the oldest wine grapes and has survived to this day. In fact, France has recorded Pinot Noir wine since Roman times. As early as the first century AD, the Romans invaded Europe aggressively, and their love for wine spread, including Pinot Noir.
In the Middle Ages, Catholicism began to rule Europe, and wine production was mainly controlled by the church. In Burgundy, the priests of the Cistercian Order (Catholic Priory) became the main wine producers, and their wines were mainly used for sacramental matters. This state has continued for centuries. In order to produce the best wines, they have accurately classified the vineyards. Pinot Noir is considered the best variety, far better than other popular local grape varieties.
After the French Revolution in 1789, the church’s vineyards were confiscated and redistributed to the locals. This partly explains why the Burgundy vineyards are divided in this way.
- Pinot Noir = Terroir
Perhaps because it is an ancient grape, it has maintained a relatively primitive form. So even with the smallest changes in growing conditions, such as changes in soil, sunlight, or small-scale climates (such as different airflows in the vineyard), Pinot Noir grapes and wines will perform very differently. Other grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, are not so different.
Because the monks in the Middle Ages were fascinated by this wine, and because the grapes were very sensitive, they surveyed the soil differences between the vineyards, accurately identified and classified them, and looked for the most suitable grapes for growing Pinot Noir. Of the land, resulting in the concept of a first-class garden and a super-class garden. Therefore, you can say that they are the first winemakers in the world to propose the concept of terroir and a single garden.
- It is difficult to grow Pinot Noir grapes
Because the grapes grow tightly and the berries are prone to moisture, fungi and rot are prone to occur and the grapes are prone to disease. The grape skins are thin and cannot resist pests well. At the same time, because the skin is thin, the grapes are very sensitive to hot and dry weather, and they are more likely to break after rain. Pinot Noir berries and wine generally have low tannins, which is a protective natural response against pests and ultraviolet radiation.
These characteristics make Pinot Noir grapes difficult to grow. Compared with other grape varieties, it is easier to grow on soil with good drainage and has a lower yield. It needs a dry, but not too dry environment. Most importantly, it likes a cool climate.
- Pinot Noir likes cool climate
You may have noticed that in countries with hot climates, such as Argentina, Spain and South Africa, there is no very famous Pinot Noir. There is a very good reason here is that Pinot Noir likes a cool climate. Excessive heat and sunlight will change the delicate taste of this grape.
Pinot Noir thrives in Burgundy and Champagne, which is by far the coldest wine producing region in France. In other historic Pinot Noir producing areas in Europe, the climate is also very cool. Such as Germany (locally called Pinot Noir as Spätburgunder), Switzerland, and the high mountains of northern Italy (here called Pinot Nero).
In warm New World countries, growers have to find areas that are susceptible to cold air and ocean currents. For example, the famous Carneros and Russian River Valleys in California, the Jena Valley in Australia, the Casablanca Valley in Chile, or Walker Bay in South Africa. As a country with a cool climate as a whole, Pinot Noir cultivation in almost all producing areas in New Zealand has been successful.
- Pinot Noir, a family of grapes
Pinot Noir is not just a grape variety, it is a grape family that tends to mutate frequently. The Pinot Noir varieties produced after mutation have different characteristics, such as color, tannin and taste. The gene identity selected for specific characteristics is called clone (Clone, which can be translated as “monoline”). There are more than 50 Pinot Noir clones recognized in France and only 25 Cabernet Sauvignon, although the latter is more widely grown. The famous Pinot Noir clones of Burgundy include varieties 115, 667 and 777.
Because of the variation, a grape family with different grape colors and flavors was created, including Pinot Gris, Pinot Pinot, and Pinot Monniere.
- The world’s top ten Pinot Noir producing countries and vineyard area
France: 29,738 hectares
United States: 16,776 hectares
Germany: 11,300 hectares
Moldova: 6521 hectares
Italy: 5,046 hectares
New Zealand: 4776 hectares
Australia: 4690 hectares
Switzerland: 4402 hectares
Chile: 2,884 hectares
Argentina: 1802 hectares
- The film effect of “A Life with Wine”
In the 2004 American movie “Sideways” (Sideways), Paul Giamatti played the role of a man who loves Pinot Noir but hates Merlot. This film made Pinot Noir quickly become popular in the United States and around the world.
- The most expensive Pinot Noir in France
Henry Jail Richburg Pinot Noir
Romani Conti Pinot Noir
Romani Conti Ratashi Grand Field
- Excellent Pinot Noir in the World
If you are interested in Pinot Noir wines in your country or outside of France, here are some of the most popular Pinot Noir producers in the world:
Meiomi Pinot Noir (Meiomi Pinot Noir)
Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir in Sonoma, California
‘Kistler Vineyard’ Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir in Sonoma, California
Ata Rangi Pinot Noir in Martinborough, New Zealand
Erath Pinot Noir (Erath Pinot Noir)
Bollinger Coteaux Champenois La Cote Aux Enfants in Champagne, France
Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir, Casablanca, Chile
Weingut Daniel & Marta Gantenbein Pinot Noir, Graubunden, Switzerland
Yabby Lake Vineyard Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Bodega Chacra ‘Barda’ Pinot Noir (Argentina Chacra ‘Barda’ Pinot Noir)
Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand