It used to be that Pinot Noir wine only came from the Cote d’Or, a small area in Burgundy, France. The Pinot Noir grape is a very difficult vine to grow, needing specific soil and climate situations in order to thrive. The Cote d’Or was pretty much the only place where this grape grew.
Only in the last 15 to 20 years did winemakers in other parts of the world master the growing techniques (and probably thanks to the help of new, cutting-edge technology) of Pinot Noir.
New World Pinot Noir is more accessible than Burgundy red wine because New World winemakers don’t have stringent rules on how to make their wine.
Fine Burgundy wine is also very expensive because of low production levels.
California Pinot Noir
There are several California wine regions that have many winemakers who make award-winning Pinot Noir, and some that even specialize in this fickle grape.
Many of these wineries produce two versions of Pinot Noir: one that is part of their standard bottling and one that is part of their Reserve or Meritage collection.
The most famous California Pinot Noir come from Sonoma County, Napa, and the Russian River Valley. The Carneros region that runs between Sonoma and Napa makes especially good Pinot Noir.
Some of the wineries that make excellent Pinot Noir include:
- Acacia Winery
- Cline Cellars
- Robert Mondavi Winery
- Robert Sinskey Vineyards
There are also many Santa Barbara wineries that have specialized in Pinot Noir. Monterey wineries are also an up-and-coming area for great Pinot Noir.
Oregon Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is the most popular of all Oregon wines. It thrives here because the climate and latitude are the same as Burgundy. Of all the 21,000 acres of grapes that are grown in Oregon, more than half of them are made into Oregon Pinot Noir.
There aren’t many wineries in Oregon wine country, especially when you compare it to California or Washington. Many Oregon wines are made by family-owned or boutique wineries with a limited production of about 10,000 cases a year.
Famous Oregon Pinot Noir wineries include:
- Erath Winery
- Eyrie Vineyards
- Adelsheim Vineyard
- Rex Hill Winery
There are two very famous wineries within Oregon wine country that have very large productions:
- King Estate Winery, located south of Willamette Valley
- Domaine Drouhin, owned by the famous Burgundy winemaker, Joseph Drouhin
International Pinot Noir Celebration
Each year in late July, Oregon wine country hosts the International Pinot Noir Celebration, a three day weekend full of wine tasting, wine, and food pairing, learning about wine and just a general celebration of all the wonderful things to enjoy in life.
New Zealand Pinot Noir
If you are looking for a new Pinot Noir region to explore, you have to try New Zealand Pinot Noir. It is a very new region that has vines that are just coming to maturity to produce Pinot Noir with consistent quality. Make sure to try any of these great New Zealand Pinot Noir producers.
Pinot Noir Pairing
What foods does Pinot Noir taste good with? If you are going to enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner, its important to know a little bit about wine-food pairing. Lucky for you, food and Pinot Noir pairing is very easy.
Pinot Noir Glasses
What are the right wine glasses to use to get the full enjoyment out of your Pinot Noir selection? Your choices are endless. It all depends on your price range and style preferences.