Pinot Noir makes some of the world's best wines and when grown for volume, some of the more forgettable ones too.
But when grown with care and passion, it is a fabulous and food friendly red. We have world class "cold climate" Pinot Noir from winemakers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Truly unique ones, too.
Pinot Noir has many other names, some of which may offer clues as to its origin - Blauburgunder, Bourguinon, Morillon and Savagnin Noir. It probably originates in France but there are many other theories which have it coming from Egypt, Italy and Germany.
The genealogy of Pinot is hugely impressive with a wide number of well known grapes coming from it particularly through its crossings with Gouais Blanc and Savagnin (not Sauvignon which are children of this crossing).
Swiss Pinot Noir often manages to combine red fruit and notes of autumnal woods with cool and soft tannins. It is subtler in Vaud, bolder in Valais and Geneva, in Eastern Switzerland, it beats anything Germany can produce. Don't miss the unique Swiss "Oeil the Perdrix", a rosé of free run Pinot Noir juice that is dry and complex (and doesn't feel like rosé when tasted blind).
Austrian Pinot Noir is delicious, but in Austria it does not get the attention it deserves (neither does the Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris). Yet, from the juicy Buchegger, the rich Klosterneuburg, the perfectly balanced Zull to the masterly oaked Lentsch and the lovely Pinot from master red wine maker Fischer, we have one impressive bottle after another.
Rarer still is Pinot Noir based dessert wine from Austria, a still red Pinot Noir from Champagne (only a few bottles left) and a very special red Sekt from the incredible Steininger family - a red sparkling that is recognisably 100% Pinot Noir.