Pinot noir is, notoriously, the world’s most fickle grape. So why have vintners been on a mission to make good pinot noir for thousands of years? Because when you get it right, it can be one of the finest wines in the world. Resplendent with red fruit aromas, such as cherries, cranberries and raspberries, and with a unique earthy character of truffles, forest floor and black pepper, pinot noir can be a pretty special wine, pairing impeccably with stuffed mushrooms, tacos or charcuterie.
Unlike some grape varieties that will produce decent wine just about anywhere, pinot noir needs very precise conditions to thrive. Too hot or too cold and the grape will either become flabby or refuse to ripen.
Fortunately for pinot lovers, Cistercian monks in Burgundy (the spiritual home of pinot noir) have been writing annual harvest reports on their toils and troubles with the variety ever since AD1000. These meticulously detailed reports have led the way for winemakers to find the perfect growing conditions in other countries around the world.
Chile is one of the world’s top pinot noir producers – boasting the ideal combination of cool, foggy mornings and warm, sunny afternoons. There, Cono Sur, the best-loved pinot producer in the UK, continues the age-old tradition of studious experimentation in its quest to capture the grape’s fickle magic – and the hearts of wine enthusiasts.