Cheers! It's National Pinot Noir Day
Let's raise a glass to celebrate the exceptionally popular Pinot Noir!
Pinot Noir origins are rooted in France, home to the famed Burgundy regions and is one of the oldest viniferous grape varietals said to be at least 1,000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon. Not surprisingly, wines from Burgundy such as Domain de la Romanee-Conti (DRC) can fetch more than $25,000 per bottle! Wines from this region tend to be more earthy and floral (ooooh, I love that!) vs. California Pinot Noir which often can be brighter with dark cherry, mushroom, and baking spice notes. However, in recent years some California winemakers seem to be paying homage to their Burgundian counterparts and producing Pinot Noir that is strikingly similar to their Burgundian sisters.
Interestingly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both share a love for the same growing conditions which is why you can often find Pinot Noir growing near Chardonnay and vice versa. Naturally, these early birds have a shorter growing season and are almost always the first varietals to be harvested. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are also two of the most popular grapes used in making Champagne and sparkling wine. However, Pinot Noir is an exceptionally versatile grape that can be found as a red wine, rosé, white, and sparkling wine too. I suppose it’s not a surprise that I gravitate toward Blanc de Noir sparkling wines which are made from the juice of Pinot Noir grapes.
For me, Pinot Noir is my go-to red for everything from a fireside sipper to an elegant dinner. Pinot Noir also plays a starring role during Thanksgiving, being nearly as important as the turkey itself. I truly enjoy exploring the diverse profiles of Pinot Noir from various growing regions. Wines from Willamette Valley and Carneros AVA in Napa Valley tend to be very light and full of bright cherry flavors that almost always trigger that Jolly Rancher mouth feel. Whereas wines from Russian River Valley, many coastal regions, and of course Burgundy tend to be more earthy, floral, with mysterious depth.
Fun Facts About Pinot Noir
- Pinot Noir comes from the French words' pine (pineapple) and noir (black) thanks to its pineapple-shaped clusters.
- Pinot Noir is the 10th most planted grape variety in the world.
- Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grapes in the world and is believed to be over 1,000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir has natural tannins
Pinot Noir is a French grape with origins in the Burgundy region
Point Me To Pinot Noir
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