Pinot Noir produces some of the world’s most sublime wines. Its heartland is France’s revered Burgundy wine region, where in the limestone-rich soils and skilled hands of legendary properties like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Pinot Noir can offer up red wines of haunting beauty and finesse. Today, Pinot Noir is planted worldwide by growers hoping to replicate Burgundy’s aristocratic magic. Like most pedigree animals, Pinot Noir is high maintenance: too cool and it will taste hard and stalky, too hot and Pinot gets bothered, losing its scented, red-berry charm. However Pinot Noir can be successful in parts of New Zealand, the US (especially Oregon and cooler California) and other ocean-influenced wine regions like Chile’s Casablanca Valley. Pinot Noir’s delicate fruit and lively acidity is prized in rosé and sparkling wines too, notably in Champagne, where it is one of the three main grapes varieties grown.
Photo: Pinot Noir grape from Domaine A & P de Villaine, Côte Chalonnaise