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The Pinot Noir grape
Indigenous to Burgundy, this fabulous grape variety is a tricky customer to grow: get it right and you’ll taste some of the world’s best red wine, get it wrong and you’ll taste some of the worst. It’s a cool climate grape, which may frequently fail to ripen. Transplant to a warmer climate and it will ripen too soon. It’s thin-skinned so needs to be handled with care. The bunch is a mass of grapes – a haven for any number of diseases let alone rot.
Pinot Noir is an important ingredient in Champagne and other quality sparking wines. It’s also finding top form in Oregon, USA and Central Otago, New Zealand; areas which are now rivalling Burgundy for the true home of Pinot Noir.