food and beverage underground

Pinot Noir - The Wonder Grape

Pinot Noir is by far my favorite grape varietal, so much that I use Pinot in my email address. Pinot Noirs are luscious, silky wines that vary from region to region, each showing its own unique characteristics. Although, notorious as hard to grow, the fruits of their labor shine when Pinot is grown right. Pinot has fans that are passionate about these wines that are grown around the globe. All of the wine reps in my region know if they have a bottle of Pinot open, especially Burgundies, to come by and get a great big smile from me.

When I was first getting started professionally being a wine steward, a friend of mine, Daniel Haas, a expert wine buyer and Senior Vice President of Vineyard Brands, sat down with me and showed me the ropes. Those were amazing times to get to experience the nuances of the regions of Burgundy. Over the next couple of years, Danny took me through a journey of their vast portfolio. Danny has been traveling to Europe a couple of times a year for the past couple of decades (I just want to hide in his suitcase). I still can hear him talk about his intimate friendships he has established with the many producers. I was fascinated to hear these true friendships, now after years of this business, have many of these relationships that I hold dear. This business is full of great people. I keep trying Pinots from all of over with great results.

Pinot Noir, Pinot, Wine, Grapes

Pinot is grown in a number of countries and is known as different names such as Blauburguner or Spatburgunder in Austria, Burgundac in Croatia, Spatburgunder in Germany, Pinot Nero in Italy, Clevner in Switzerland. This grape has shown best in the Cote d’Or in the Burgundy region of France. The eastward sloping vineyards with long sun exposure, calcareous (chalky) soil are some of the factors making Burgundy produce these wonderful wines. There are over 46 clones of Pinot Noir in Dijon, France, and as many as 1000 worldwide. Some of the problems with growing Pinot includes spring frost, pierce’s disease, leaf roll, and the vines are not very vigorous, and tend to dry out if not picked promptly at maturity. Pinot Noir tends to ferment so hard that it boils out of its container.

Pinot Noirs have a palate and aroma of cherry to black cherry, raspberry and spice resulting in a medium to full bodied wine that is substantial and sexy but still has a delicate balance. Pinot has the ability to pair with a variety of foods from salmon to steak, and delicate enough to pair wonderfully with duck.

In the following pages, I will break down Pinots from different areas.

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