Pinot Noir

Red grapeThis is the kind of grape that makes you swoon, sigh and sometimes feel exasperated. A delicate grape that needs the best growing conditions and masterly wine making to show well. If the climate is too hot it will ripen to unsatisfying jam flavours. And on the reverse a cold vintage version can taste raw and stalky.

It seems to be a winemaker’s favourite as a grape so difficult to work with that to conquer it is their lifetime achievement. At its best it is beautifully fragrant, with delicate red berries and a peppery note, with age it mellows and gathers richer flavours that often become more umami or mushroomy, in the nicest possible way.

The facts

A delicate, aromatic grape with fine tannin and good acidity. It combines well with oak that typically adds structure and rich texture. A grape that has distinctly differing styles according to where it is grown. Pinot is also multi clonal meaning winemakers can chose to plan many types each with an individual style.


Trousseau, Gamay, Nerello Mascalese, Frappato

Classic regions

France: Burgundy, Alsace
New Zealand: Central Otago, Martinborough, Wairarapa
Germany: Pfalz, Baden
USA: Sonoma, Russian River, Oregon
Australia: Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula
South Africa: Elgin, Walker Bay

Food matches

Anything mushroomy, pheasant, grouse, duck, pates