Pinot Noir?

Did you know this varietal is older than Cabernet Sauvignon by 1,000 years? Did you realize it is the 10th most planted vine type? In France, this varietal is called Burgundy? Or … where these vines are planted you are likely to find Chardonnay vines too?

“One of the reasons the Pinot Noir grape elicits such devotion is because it’s really hard to grow, which results in a great bottle of Pinot Noir being a rare find. ” Wise insight shared in a VinePair’s detailed article on highlighting this lovely varietal, Learn About Pinot Noir.

Differing States of Pinot Noir

There are many similarities as well as differences among the Pinot Noirs offered on America’s West Coast.

California is by far the largest producer and has the most popular regions for Pinot Noir. In fact, California’s offering is a beast! It has some of the most popular labels and best known  regions for in the world and produces over 300,000 tons a year of this terrific varietal. California’s wine reputation is “fruit forward” and it is the same with this varietal. The best come from the coastal damp growing regions.

In the last 20 years, Oregon has made quite a name for itself producing prized quality Pinot Noirs. Over half of the wine grapes grown in Oregon are this type. Of note, the Willamette Valley has really put Oregon on the map by creating prized bottles. Many collectors and Connoisseurs are gravitating towards these Pinot Noirs as of late. According to many sommeliers and wine aficionados, Oregon has the perfect climate to grow the “best of the best” of this varietal’s grapes. This perfection of growing conditions creates delicate flavors that reveal themselves as one enjoys these bottles.

Washington is not as well known as for Pinot Noir….yet! However, Washington still puts out some quality juice. It’s production size pales in comparison to either California and Oregon; but Walla Walla is now a we’ll known and respected growing region of these grapes. Interestingly, differing fruit flavors emerge on your palate as you enjoy a glass.

Play Our Favorite Pinot Noir Game …

Whenever you have the chance, I highly recommend a fun little game. Go out and buy 3 bottles of PN around $20 a bottle. One bottle from each of the 3 states. Cover each with a brown paper bag so not to be able to tell which is which. Invite over some friends and have everyone vote on which one they like the most.

Do you detect black cherry or raspberry flavors?

Does your tongue find an earthiness lingers?

Do you detect something like dried spices?

What about dark berry spices such as blackberry or black cherry?

Decipher which flavors come from which state for yourself. You just might be surprised the differences you notices and at the wine you select as taste winner!


What pairs well with Pinot Noir?

Traditionally, most folks pair Pinot Noir with beef, rabbit, mushrooms or duck.  However, other nice pairings for this lovely wine could be flaky fish or a lovely rack of lamb. Klerin Clarkin shares his WSET wisdom in Five Great Food Pairings For Pinot Noir That Might Surprise You – Perfect Matching.

Want to learn more about Pinot Noir?

Coravin’s – Understand Pinot Noir Across Regions

Wine Folly’s – 5 Facts on Pinot Noir that You Should See

or The 7 Best Pinot Noir Regions in the World

VinePair – Learn About Pinot Noir

Todd Wetzel has written to introduce other wines on our CKJY Exports Wine & Spirit Blog –

Why Try … Marvelous Merlot?

Why Try … Cabernet Sauvignon?

Interested in Importing this delicious varietal? We represent several terrific producers of Pinot Noir. Reach out to us today –


Published by Todd Wetzel

Family, Living in Napa & the Chicago Cubs 

Our CKJY Exports team affectionately calls him… “THE Todd”.

Todd has 20+ years of experience regarding everything wine, beer, spirits and the service industry. He is a triple threat because provides keen insights to the changing wants of consumers and working knowledge of fine restaurants. Additionally, Todd brings an in depth understanding of how wineries, breweries, distilleries and distributors operate to our team.

Todd is the team’s "go to alcohol expert." He pairs his impeccable taste with a friendly outgoing nature and a big smile on his face. Follow Todd’s blog posts to gain a more in depth understanding of American wine, beer and spirits!

Todd’s go to favorites are.. lush Viogniers, delicious IPA’s and his weakness is a rich Cabernet Sauvignon. But what truly excites him is trying new and creative things!

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