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Key grapes: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the classic music of the wine world. That’s a great way to think about it.

The same way that the music we first get into as teenagers is loud, fast, and what our parents don’t like, the wines we tend to like the most at first tend to be big. As time goes on, we may grow an appreciation for classical music, and the same holds true for Pinot Noir.

No other grape in the wine world brings as much pleasure to the wine lover. Pinot Noir carries aromas, complexity, and food pairing ability better than any other grape out there.

It’s also a pain in the butt to grow, as we talk about in the video.

More links for further learning

Some very good overviews on Pinot Noir: 1, 2, 3.

Pinot Noir is fussy in the vineyard. Here are some details on this.

Pinot Noir clones can make a huge difference. This is more advanced than the normal info I’d give an Intro to Wine class, but in this format it’s good to link to an article explaining it.

The reds of Burgundy, France, are arguably the pinnacle of Pinot Noir. Here’s why.

The Willamette Valley is a young region (the first Pinot Noir was planted there in only 1966). Here is a GREAT documentary on the history of Willamette Valley wines.

Top regions for Pinot Noir in California: the Russian River Valley, Monterey County (specifically the Santa Lucia Highlands), and in Santa Barbara County the Sta. Rita Hills.

Food and Wine Magazine: 30 Pinot Noirs to drink if you want to be a real expert (hint: take note of the producers here, not necessarily the vintages … those that have the touch with Pinot Noir tend to be consistently good at it).