Grape Variety

Pinot Noir Grape: an Easy Guide

Pinot Noir Grape Variety

Pinot Noir Grape


Pinot Noir, also called Blauburgunder in German-speaking countries, is a red grape variety, considered to be of French origin. In fact, it was introduced in the Burgundy region of France, during the conquests of Julius Caesar. It was precisely due to the presence of the Romans that the Aedui tribes began to cultivate grape vines, precisely in those places that today represent the renowned Côte d’Or.
Its particular name “Pinot” would indicate the “pine cone” shape, typical of its bunches.


Today, the world cradle of Pinot Noir grape variety is the Côte de Nuit in Burgundy, located between the cities of Beaune and Dijon. However, already only in France, Pinot Noir has shown a particular predilection also for the Champagne region and, above all, for the Reims Mountain area.
A grape variety that, despite its many needs, has been able to settle successfully into other territories, such as the following:

  • States of California and Oregon in the USA
  • Central Otago and Marlborough Regions in New Zealand
  • Northern Italy (Piedmont, Trentino Alto Adige, Lombardy and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions)
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Walker Bay region in South Africa
  • Victoria Region in Australia

Cultivation Needs

Pinot Noir is a tough grape variety to cultivate, due to its numerous needs. In fact, this grapevine variety suffers from violent rains and strong winds and it is also sensitive to rot and to the attacks perpetrated by fungi and parasites, like oidium and downy mildew.
It is no coincidence that one of his favorite places, the Côte de Nuit in Burgundy, is a territory sheltered from the coldest winds coming from the North.
Pinot Noir grapes, to ripen at their best, prefer sunny places, well exposed, with clay-type soils and better yet, limestone soil called marn, like those of some famous places in Burgundy.
Never grow Pinot Noir in overly fertile, water-rich and sandy soils!

Pinot Noir Wines


Wines, made with Pinot Noir grapes , can be fresh and light-bodied as well as more complex and full-bodied.
Often, Pinot Noir wines show a luminous, transparent ruby red colour and an elegant and intense personality, never excessive.

The aromas recall the fragrance of a forest in Summer, with notes of wild berries, cherries, plums, aromatic herbs, mushrooms and truffles. With the right period of aging and evolution, these wines also reveal nuances of spices, tobacco and leather. Their earthy, spicy and wild character enhance the mouthfeel and the taste-olfactory persistence.

Pinot Noir wines open up with an intense flavor and a juicy acidity, carry the red fruits and balsamic freshness sensation. They possess intensity and persistency, with a harmonious appeal, never too soft or heavy, with velvety tannins.
Wines with a unique personality.

Pinot Noir Food Pairings: Red Meat and Mushrooms recipes

Pinot Noir Wines Best Food Pairings: Red Meat with Mushrooms recipes

Food pairings

Because of its earthy and woody personality, Pinot Noir wines pair well with dishes with a similar character. This is why they are an excellent choice alongside recipes featuring mushrooms and fine truffles and alongside all those dishes enriched by the presence of dried fruit and aromatic herbs.

Beyond these preferences, Pinot Noir Wines are very versatile and, thanks to their balanced elegance, they easily pair with seafood, vegetarian and white, red meat and game recipes.

With their juicy drinkability, Pinot Noir Wines are also excellent to be enjoyed at aperitif time, or at the end of dinner, to accompany a succulent cheese plateau. Pinot Noir pairs very well with medium mature, rind-washed and fragrant cheeses, like Brie, Camembert, Gruyere, Taleggio or Gouda.

Thanks to a refined duet of flavor and freshness, Pinot Noir wines are perfect in combination with vegetarian dishes with pasta, mushrooms and truffles.
With their earthy and mineral flavour, these wines pair very well with the taste of BBQ white and red meats, of which they extend the smoky succulence. This is why they are an excellent choice to accompany a grilled rack of lamb with herbs, a beef steak with grilled vegetables or a roasted turkey with nuts and figs.

Lastly, light-bodied, fresh and smooth Pinot Noir wines can perfectly match the marine taste of some spicy or bittersweet seafood recipes, like a seared ahi tuna steak or a grilled swordfish with sweet-and-sour-sauce.