Pinot noir is a red grape variety that is famously difficult to cultivate and vinify, but when done right, can produce some of the most exquisite wines in the world. It is a grape that is grown in many wine regions around the globe, and its popularity has been growing steadily in recent years. In England, Pinot noir has been gaining popularity as a wine of choice, and some of the best-selling Pinot noir wines can be found in the market.
In this article, we will explore the world of Pinot noir wines in England, focusing on the best-selling Pinot noir wines available in the market. We will also discuss the history of Pinot noir, the characteristics of the grape, the winemaking process, and the different styles of Pinot noir wines.
History of Pinot noir
Pinot noir is believed to be one of the oldest grape varieties in the world, with its origins dating back to the Roman times. The grape is thought to have originated in the Burgundy region of France, and it is still the most important grape variety grown in this region today.
Pinot noir is a mutation of the Pinot grape family, which includes Pinot gris and Pinot blanc. The name Pinot comes from the French word “pin” which means pine, as the grape clusters resemble pine cones. The grape is notoriously difficult to grow, and it requires a specific set of climatic conditions to thrive.
Characteristics of Pinot noir
Pinot noir is a thin-skinned grape that is susceptible to disease and rot. It has a relatively low tannin content, which makes it a lighter red wine, with a pale ruby color. The grape is known for its complex flavors, which can range from red fruit and berries to earthy and savory notes.
Pinot noir wines have a unique structure that is often described as silky or velvety, with a long and elegant finish. The wine can also have a high acidity level, which gives it a crisp and refreshing character.
Winemaking process of Pinot noir
The winemaking process for Pinot noir is a delicate one, and it requires careful attention to detail. The grapes are hand-picked and sorted, to ensure that only the best quality grapes are used for the wine.
The grapes are then destemmed and crushed, and the juice and skins are fermented together in a process called maceration. The maceration process can last from several days to a few weeks, depending on the desired flavor profile of the wine.
After the maceration process, the wine is pressed, and the juice is transferred to oak barrels for aging. The oak barrels give the wine a subtle oak flavor, and they also help to smooth out the tannins in the wine.
Different styles of Pinot noir
Pinot noir wines can be made in a variety of styles, depending on the winemaker’s preference and the region where the grapes are grown. Here are some of the most common styles of Pinot noir wines:
Burgundy Pinot noir – This style of Pinot noir is the most famous, and it is produced in the Burgundy region of France. The wine is known for its complex flavors and aromas, which can range from red fruit and berries to earthy and savory notes. Burgundy Pinot noir is also known for its high acidity level and long, elegant finish.
New World Pinot noir – This style of Pinot noir is produced in regions outside of Europe, such as California, Oregon, and New Zealand. New World Pinot noir is known for its fruit-forward flavors and aromas, with less emphasis on earthy and savory notes. The wine can also have a higher alcohol content, and it is often aged in new oak barrels.