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How Pinot Noir is Different From Other Red Grape Varieties?

I get pitched a lot of guest posts (yes, I do accept them). Normally, they’re absolutely perfect for the person pitching them while not being a very good fit for my blog. As an example, tying together your Netflix coupon codes with my wine of the month club website, is going to be difficult. Yes, that got pitched to me yesterday! But, this was a good one and I’m happy to run it. Enjoy our most recent guest post and in classic internet fashion, it comes straight from Australia.

From France to Australia, there are many grape varieties that have made their way to our hearts. Whether they are red wines or white wines, both types provide a wide spectrum of aromas and flavours. Every grape has some distinctive properties that make it different from other grape varieties. Otherwise, all wines would taste the same if it weren’t the case. Today, we’re going to talk about Pinot Noir red wine and what sets it apart from its red counterparts. Before we start, let’s know more about the history of this noble grape.


The world’s 10th most planted grape, Pinot Noir originated from the famous Burgundy region in France and is known as ‘Red Burgundy’. The name Pinot stands for pine and Noir for black in French. Today, this grape has crossed borders and is now widely grown all over the world. You can find some of the finest Pinot Noir wines from Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Chile and Spain.  After France and the US, Germany is the 3rd largest producer of this grape variety and it’s commonly referred to as Spätburgunder in German. Although its grown in many regions, it requires optimal conditions with consistent care to grow. It thrives in cool climate regions and is vulnerable to viticultural hazards due to its tendency to forming tight clusters. Its thin skin doesn’t do any good either, it is more sensitive to heat and susceptible to pests. That is why cool climate regions are the best for growing this grape.


It’s a dry, light-bodied red wine which is loved by many people for its red fruit flavours, higher acidity and low tannins along with spice aromas. It is well paired with duck, chicken and pork dishes.  A young Pinot Noir has red fruit flavours, as the wine ages, it will exhibit vegetal notes.

As compared to other reds such as Shiraz which is a full-bodied red wine relished by people for its distinct flavours of blackberry, plum and peppercorns. It has higher tannins and acidity, making it go exceptionally with dark meats and spicy dishes.  As aforementioned that every wine is different from the other, origin plays a key role in the flavour spectrum. Syrah originated from the Rhone Valley of France and is the most planted grape in Australia. One of the chief reason this wine is popular is because of its characteristics as compared to other reds. Mostly red wines have higher tannins and are deep in colour but not this wine. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon too like Shiraz is a full-bodied wine with high tannin level and acidity. It is a result of a natural cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. It showcases blackcurrant notes accompanied by mint, pepper and cedar hints when grown in cooler climate regions. In hot climate conditions, you’ll find more ripped flavours.

Depending upon the region from where it is grown, there will be a noticeable difference in aromas and flavour profile. There are many factors that play an imperative role such as soil and climate conditions as well as the viticulture practices.

The Role of Region

Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region offers earthy aromas along with slightly floral smells of violets, roses. If produced in Germany it would have more sweet cherries and raspberries aromas along with earthy characters. It’s a known fact that this variety blooms in a cool climate region, its called Pinot Nero in Italian. The fruit flavours are similar to its neighbouring country and the place of its origin—France. However, the earthy flavours of tobacco, clove and white pepper and constitutes higher alcohol. With regards to its French and German counterparts, it is more fruit-centric with blackberries flavours in California. In Australia, it grows in some areas of Western Australia and in Mornington Peninsula. You’ll find blueberry fruit notes with blackberry hints. New Zealand is blessed with sunshine throughout the season and produces Pinot Noir red wines similar to California, the only unique characteristics are meaty and strong spice aromas.  

Some Interesting Facts

  • Some writers assert that Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, as well as Pinot Blanc, are colour mutations of the famous Pinot Noir grape. Their DNA is identical to each other.
  • It is 1000 years older than Cab Sav and is used in making Chardonnay along with lesser-known grape Pinot Meunier.
  • It might come as a surprise that Chardonnay is related to this grape, as a result of a natural crossing of an extinct variety—Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir. This is the reason why you’ll find Chardonnay is grown near to Pinot Noir, just a few acres away.

That was all on this elegant Pinot Noir red wine. We hope you found the information worthy of your time. Do share your thoughts with us. Till then, stay tuned for more posts.  

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