Pinot Noir: The temperamental traveller

August 15, 2018

Pinot Noir: The temperamental traveller

Pinot Noir doesn’t play ball. Not by modern standards anyway. It takes a specific climate to get the best out of it. Cool and dry. Not to mention the soil. But it can also hold the biggest reward for winemakers. For virtually every winemaker worth their salt, it’s worth the risk.
What other variety is just as comfortable propping up Chardonnay in Champagne as it is a still rosé or a red wine. And for those that reckon it doesn’t travel well, there’s hardly a wine producing region in the world without a few hectares of the variety. It’s almost like the yard stick for a successful wine region.

If you can make good Pinot Noir, it follows that the region as a whole must be good for wine. Such is the gravitas of this one breed of fruit. It’s a global superstar that always leaves you wanting more.

Where in the world is Pinot Noir?

In Romania
With over 6,000 years of winemaking history under its belt, Romania is home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world. Today, it is still one of the largest wine producing regions in Europe. The climate and soils here are perfect for viticulture, and certainly for Pinot Noir. But it’s not all ancient tactics. Cramele Recas, Romania’s largest winery claims that its wines are built on quality and innovation, using the latest in modern wine-making techniques.

Try …

Sanziana Pinot Noir: Black cherry, raspberry, cinnamon and fruitcake.

Pinot Noir Romania

 

In Italy
With vineyards stretching from the Alps through the Appenine mountains to Sicily, it’s hard to imagine a more exciting or varied wine-producing country. Italian Pinot Nero traditionally found its home in the north-eastern provinces, near the Austrian border, but has also made waves further south in Tuscany.

Try …

La Tunella Pinot Nero: Juicy crushed raspberries, delicate warm spice.

Pinot Noir Italy

 

In New Zealand
Although famous for its signature Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand is home to so many more grape varieties ready to dazzle wine-lovers. Pinot Noir is the country’s largest red grape variety, covering wine regions from Central Otago to Hawke’s Bay. The regional diversity is clear and pronounced, while the wines still display a common theme – marrying exuberant ‘new world’ flavour with stylish ‘old world’ elegance.

Try …

Eradus Pinot Noir: Ripe berries, earthy mushroom, dark perfumed fruit.

Pinot Noir New Zealand

 

In Germany
Germany is the world’s third largest producer of Pinot Noir. (germanwines.de) Brought from Burgundy and cultivated somewhere around the 4th century, the grape bears the name Spatburgunder in German, meaning late ripening pinot.

Try …

Rheingau Spatburgunder Qba Schloss Schonborn: Fragrant floral berries, crushed stone minerals.Pinot Noir Spatburgunder

In France
It’s impossible to discuss Pinot Noir without mentioning France. The variety finds it’s way into great wines from Champagne, Sancerre, and most famously of all, Burgundy, the appellation known the world over for this grape… or is it the other way around? The complexities and tremendous diversities of this region are the result of a geological accident which tore the great valley apart, easing the passage of the nearby Saône River. The terroir is prime for this grape, as demonstrated by some of the world’s most famous domaines, from Cote de Nuit’s Clos de Tart to Vosnee-Romanee’s Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.

Try …

Cotes du Beaune Villages Olivier Leflaive: Fresh summer fruits, spiced black cherries.Pinot Noir Burgundy

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