Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir


  • France: Burgundy, Champagne
  • USA: Oregon, California
  • Germany: Baden, Pfalz, Nahe
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Moldova


  • Any occasion, Pinot Noir is always a good idea and a crowd pleaser


  • Decanting – yes and no, opinions are divided so do as you please
  • 12 °C – 26 °C (54 °F – 60 °F)
  • Pinot Noir glass which is a large round glass


  • Young, light bodied wines: Fish, salmon, lobster, chicken, vegetables
  • Cheese: goat’s cheese, feta, Gouda
  • Older, fuller bodied wines: pork, lamb, beef, roasted meat, truffles, mushrooms
  • Cheese: Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola

Pinot Noir comes from Burgundy where to this day some of the best wines are being produced. As a grape it is very hard to grow, it loves cool climates but its thin skins are very sensitive to too much rain and weather changes. For this reason the quality of the wine depends a lot on the vintage for Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir wine is light in color, low to medium in tannin and lighter in body. It can be consumed on its own or with a wide range of dishes. Pinot Noir is also one of those wines that almost everyone likes which makes it a safe choice to serve at a dinner.

The structure of the soil is crucial for the Pinot Noir grapes. They are very susceptible to rotting and various disease so the vines need a dry soil with good drainage. The dry soil also ensures that the vines will not have too many clusters which for Pinot is a bad sign. Dense clusters means that the grapes get less nutrients and produce wines that are lighter in body and more watery. On the contrary small clusters retain all the juices and produce fuller body wines.

Pinot Noir is not only found in the old world but also in the new world although Burgundy is still one of the best suited places to grow Pinot Noir in because of its limestone soils. Old world wine is lighter in color, more savory, earthy with less fruit flavors and higher acidity while new world wines are darker in color, richer and fruitier.

Pinot Noir regions

Pinot noir map


  • Bourgogne AC
  • Quality varies with vintage (2015 – excellent vintage)
  • Lighter in color
  • Lower in tannins, earthy, less fruity and more acidic
  • Can age well up to 15 – 20 years
  • Grand Cru – best wines, around 2% of Burgundy wines get this name
  • Premier Cru – very good quality wines, around 12% of Burgundy wines
  • Village wines – usually has the name of the village on the wine, around 36% of Burgundy wines, can find excellent quality
  • Regional wines – will be named wines of Bourgogne, 50% of Burgundy wines
  • Region to note: Côte d’Or


  • Regions: Pfalz, Baden, Ahr and Nahe
  • Known as Spätburgunder
  • World’s third largest producer of Pinot Noir
  • Produces from light to rich wines often aged
  • Can find high quality wine for a good price


  • Notable Regions: Friuli, Franciacorta, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto
  • Called Pinot Nero
  • Most similar to the French Pinot Noir
  • Produces wines that are light in color, low in tannins, acidic, savory and mineral
  • Prices can range from low in price to very expensive

New Zealand

  • Central Otago
  • Full bodied, higher in alcohol, red fruit notes
  • Due to the soil the grapes are able to maintain their acidity while producing wines with high alcohol levels


  • Patagonia
  • Taste of black cherries, vanilla, high in acidity, are savory
  • Good value for a lower price


  • California (Sonoma) – fuller in body, richer, higher in alcohol, fruity
  • Oregon – cooler climate than California, earthier and more acidic than the Californian wine

burgundy, pinot noir, wine, france, french wine, red wine, red grapes

District 7

Pinot Noir, 2019

  • Country and region: USA, California, Monterey
  • Producer: Scheid Family Wines
  • Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Alcohol content: 13.5%
  • Tasting notes: cherry, strawberry, oak, spice, coffee, medium body, soft tannins, medium high acidity


Pinot Noir, 2019

  • Country and region: New Zealand, Wairarapa
  • Producer: Urlar
  • Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Alcohol content: 13%
  • Tasting notes: raspberries, cherries, chocolate, spice, ginger, medium body, soft tannins, high acidity