The ancient Pinot Noir grape is one of the oldest cultivated grape varietals in the world. Carefully grown and developed in France since the Middle Ages, today Pinot Noir is produced throughout the world.
A literal translation of black pine, the word ‘pinot’ derives from the French word for ‘pine cone’, referring to the shape of bunches on the vine, while ‘noir’ is French for ‘black’. Pinot Noir can be used for dry red wines and sparkling wines.
What kind of wine is Pinot Noir?
One of the world’s most popular wines, Pinot Noir is a light to medium bodied red with low tannins making it perfect for serving lightly chilled on those warmer days. The vine itself is particularly susceptible to disease, making it best suited to temperate or cool climates.
Younger vines generally produce red fruit flavours like cherry, raspberry and plum while older vines will produce earthier and smokier flavours such as chocolate and truffles. It is also a vital blending component in many great sparkling wines from Champagne and Australia.
Where do the best red Pinot Noir wines come from?
Some of the most stunning examples of this complex and exciting wine hail very far from its ancestral home.
Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has made great strides in the quality of its Pinot Noir where it is their most planted and important variety. Given the area’s proximity to the ocean - the wines are typically medium-bodied with juicy, red fruits reminiscent of cherry and strawberry.
Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley is one of the most sought after varieties, having a broad range of styles from rich and complex fruit forward wines to earthy, smoky styles.
South Australia’s Adelaide Hills ranks very highly both domestically and internationally for the quality of their medium bodied, richer and riper berry flavoured Pinot Noir.
Known for world class Pinot Noir, New Zealand wines are fragrant and rich with dark fruit aromas and notes of savoury spice. In New Zealand, Pinot Noir is predominantly grown in Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough.
Known as Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir was for centuries grown by French monks. Perfected on what is known as the golden slope, the world’s most coveted Pinot Noir comes from a 48 kilometre stretch of land stretching south of Dijon.
Is Pinot Noir wine sweet or dry?
Pinot Noir produces dry red and sparkling wines. However the best wines often have a generous fruit sweetness seen in a variety of berry fruit aromas and flavours.
What foods match with Pinot Noir?
Food pairing with Pinot Noir is easy with many rich tasting meats perfect for this versatile variety, including game birds such as duck and quail, as well as light beef meals and braised chicken. For cheese lovers, choose nutty, medium-firm cheeses like gruyere.
Our selection of Pinot Noir have undergone rigorous first-hand evaluation with our wine experts including their own personal notes on each bottle available to view online.