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Best Pinot Noir Regions in the World

Best Pinot Noir Regions in the World

Jonas Muthoni

Pinot Noir has a broad spectrum of flavors. One of the significant factors that decide these flavors’ role and personality is the region where it is grown. Pinot noir as a grape is delicate. It has a pale red color in the glass and zesty acidity. With thin black-skinned grapes in tightly wound bunches, it struggles to gather precious sun in the valleys it grows best. Of all the world’s wine-growing regions, pinot noir requires an area with a long spring and fall. These spring and fall months also sometimes bring trouble to pinot noir vineyards, such as rotting, but all these extra efforts are worth it when the resulting wine is this complex and exciting.

Pinot Noir grapes grow worldwide and produce highly worthwhile bottles of wine, each with its unique flavor profile. Region affects the Pinot Noir more than any other wine grape variety. Pinot Noir is rustic, earthy, and acidic when grown in France. From Sonoma, it is lush with black cherry flavors and higher in alcohol. Let’s check out the top Pinot Noir producing regions across the globe and their effects on the wine.

Top 5 Pinot Noir Regions Across the World

Here is what you can expect in your Pinot noir from these regions that produce it:

1. California

  • With a highly variable mixture of primarily volcanic and sedimentary soil, loam, regions like California are perfect for growing Pinot Noir.
  • A hot area for growing Pinot Noir, these wines get black cherry and raspberry flavors. In California, Pinot Noir was mainly produced only in the Napa Valley in earlier times.
  • Later on, it started growing along the Carneros coast; Monterey and Mendocino could also claim Pinot Noir vineyards. Today, Pinot’s primary stomping grounds are in Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Santa Barbara Country, with significant plantings dotted outside these extensive regions.
  • The higher-priced wines from Sonoma tend to experience a longer time in french oak, which adds a vanilla flavor. A Sonoma pinot noir is excellent on the evening of a cold spring day.
  • Like the Sonoma Coast, the vineyards closest to the ocean enjoy a moderate marine climate with warm afternoons and cool evenings and moderating effect of both the marine layer and cooling winds off the Pacific Ocean. The further inland, the more sheltered from the oceanic influence and the hotter and more continental the climate. 

2. France

  • France is the home of Pinot Noir, and do you know that the name is derived from the French language for pine and black.
  • A region of France named Burgundy is often called the holy grail of holy grails and home to the best Pinots across the world as it is known as the original cultivation region for Pinot No.
  • It is home to around 11,000 acres of Pinot Noir, second only to Champagne. The Côte d’Or area is broken up into two smaller cotes, the Côte de Nuits, which runs from Dijon in the north to just below Nuits-Saint-Georges in the south, and the Côte de Beaune, which begins near Ladoix and extends south to Maranges, before running into the Côte Chalonnaise.
  • The soil has limestone, and the topsoil is mostly a varying mixture of limestone, clay, and flint, which is perfect for its growth. If talking about the climate,  warm summers though not hot, cold but not too cold winters. The Budbreak is usually in April, flowering in June, veraison in mid-August, and finally harvest in late September.

3. Oregon

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  • Pinot of this region has the signature fruity characteristics with a light and soft mouthfeel. You can see flavors anywhere from dark cherry to pomegranate and cranberry.
  • However, you will find a wide range of intensity of Oregon Pinot Noir in the market. Oregon soil has a variable mixture of primarily volcanic and sedimentary soil, overlaid with any combo of granite, loam, and clay.
  • The climate is significantly more relaxed than most Pinot Noir regions like California, with mild and wet winters and dry, warm summers.
  • Oregon’s central wine-producing part is sub-divided into six appellations based on climate, soil, elevation, etc. are Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton.

4. New Zealand

  • New Zealand started growing Pinot Noir back in colonial times, but the first commercial plantings date to around 1975.
  • It is primarily grown in the south island, in Nelson, Canterbury, Marlborough, and Otago (the world’s southernmost wine-growing region).
  • Vineyard practices in New Zealand are notoriously moral, and most of the country’s wine producers farm organically. The soil here is a mixture of alluvial deposits, sandstone, schist, limestone, and silt.
  • The climate has cooler summers and milder winters. New Zealand’s Pinots have cherry, baking spice, and cola-like finish. An NZ Pinot Noir will keep you warm late afternoon on a gray day with more power in its punch.

5. Italy

  • There are several interesting wine-producing areas in Italy for Pinot Noir: Oltrepò Pavese and Alto Adige have led the way, but results have also been achieved in Trentino, in some regions of Tuscany Valle d’AostaFranciacorta, and even in the Marche and Veneto.
  •  Burgundy grapes are also used as a project in some districts. In Tuscany, where the territorial characteristics are more evident than the mark of the grape variety, the essence of the grape, Pinot Nero, is still there.
  • You can feel the presence of earthy notes as in Franch Pinot Noir, but they get a bit riper. These Pinots are darker and rich. These are perfect for a sunny spring day.

Wrap Up:

There is no doubt that Burgundy is where Pinot Noir grew up, and from then on, its reputation only grew. Today it is grown all over the world. Its greatest concentration is in Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace, and the Loire in France. It is also grown in other countries, notably the United States, New Zealand, Oregon, Northern Italy, and a few more at a small scale. So, delight yourself and your loved ones with this beautiful wine and try a couple of different pinot noirs worldwide. You’ll be surprised at how impressive they taste from various regions and how fun they are to drink if you need recommendations, check out this blog! 

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