Burgundy, France is the original home of this temperamental grape where, due to the possibility of hail and early spring frost, red burgundy (made from Pinot Noir) is the most difficult wine in the world to make with success. You will find delicious Pinot Noir wines from Oregon, California (Remember the movie Sideways?) and Washington in the United States. In Canada, Pinot Noir is grown in Ontario and in British Columbia.
Pinot Noir grapes are grown in cooler regions around the world including Austria where it is known as Blauburgunder, Germany where it is Spätburgunder, and Switzerland. Pinot Noir is also cultivated in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and South Africa. Pinot Noir is one of the primary varieties (along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) used in the production of Champagne.
Pinot Noir grapes are light in color, with low levels of tannin and very thin skin. The plant is both rot-prone and susceptible to viruses.
Pinot Noirs usually possess a smooth texture and velvety finish. They have a red fruit character of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, plum and cassis, with vegetal and some animal nuances. They are best consumed young, within two to eight years, though Grand Cru-classified Burgundy can age 8 to 25 years.
Pinot Noir is a very versatile food wine. It is great with poultry, salmon, tuna, mildly prepared beef, duck, ham, quail, pheasant and vegetable dishes.
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Cheers - Jerry