Wine Grapes: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

PronunciationPee-noh nwar

Planted in: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, Austria, Hungary, Russia, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, China, Japan, India.

Pinot Noir occupies a very special place in the firmament of well-traveled grape varieties. Such is the allure of top-quality examples, produced mainly in Burgundy, where the variety’s ability to express minute differences in terroir is most brilliantly evident, and the frustration involved in trying to reproduce them in other climates, that making fine Pinot Noir is seen by wine producers the world over as the ultimate test. Its early ripening means that only cooler regions can provide a long enough growing season to produce interesting wines but many climates are too cool or too wet for healthy crop levels.

Early budding, therefore susceptible to spring frosts and coulure, and early ripening. Like temperate climates and does well on calcareous-clay soils. In hot climates, it ripens too quickly and the relatively thin-skinned berries tend to shrivel and are subject to sunburn. Best when fertility and yields are restricted, especially for the higher-yielding, larger-berried clones. Tends to produce lots of small bunches. Delicate and susceptible to downy and powdery mildews (more so the former), botrytis bunch rot and virus diseases, notably fanleaf and leafroll, and at risk from leafhoppers.


Source: Wine Grapes 
A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavors
Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamouz
Published by the Penguin Group

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