Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety. The Pinot Noir name is derived from the French words for pine and black; the pine
alluding to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.
Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions; it is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several growth hazards. The thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends Pinot to producing mostly lightly colored, medium bodied low tannin wines. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wines age, Pinots have the potential to develop more earthy aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine.
Due to the temperamental nature and the difficulty in successfully growing and harvesting the Pinot Noir grape André Tchelistcheff, considered the Dean of American winemakers, declared that “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot noir.”
During 2004 and the beginning of 2005, Pinot noir became considerably more popular among consumers around the world with much of the credit being attributed to the movie Sideways.