Cultivating Pinot noir takes a lot of skill
In all likelihood this noble grape was already being cultivated by the Romans over 2,000 years ago in what is now Burgundy.
Pinot noir is not an easy grape to grow and is challenging both for winegrowers and cellar masters. The small, thin-skinned berries ripen late, are vulnerable to frost in the spring and rot in the autumn. The vine thrives best on limestone soils in a cool climate.
Characteristics of Pinot noir wine
Pinot noir is one of the few grape varieties that is usually vinified as a pure varietal
. However, it is also used in superior blends. In Switzerland, it is blended with Gamay
to create the famous Valais speciality Dôle.
The quality and flavour of a Pinot noir wine greatly depends on terroir. In general Pinot noirs are fruity. This fruitiness can be subtle or more marked. Supple and mouth-filling are further typical attributes. Many display aromas of berries, cherries or figs. When fully matured, their complex character can be enhanced by nuanced notes of almonds, herbs or wood. Many winemakers like to age Pinot noir in barriques.
With food, the fruit-driven full-bodied wine is excellent for enjoying with white poultry meats and seafood and also with dark meats such as roast beef or game.