Pinot Noir is a grape varietal that has a rich history dating back centuries. The grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy region of France, where it is still widely grown today. However, the grape has also been adopted by winemakers around the world, with notable productions in California, Oregon, and New Zealand. In this blog post, we will explore the history of Pinot Noir wine and how it has evolved to become one of the most popular and highly sought-after wines in the world.
The origins of Pinot Noir can be traced back to the Roman Empire, where the grape was grown in the Burgundy region of France. The grape was first mentioned in literature in the 4th century AD, and it was highly prized for its delicate flavors and aromas. During the Middle Ages, the grape was primarily grown in monasteries, where monks used it to make wine for religious ceremonies.
In the 18th century, the grape began to gain popularity among the upper classes. It was particularly popular in Burgundy, where it was used to make red wines that were considered some of the finest in the world. The grape was also grown in other regions of France, such as Champagne, where it was used to make sparkling wines.
However, the true rise of Pinot Noir came in the 19th century, when it was introduced to the New World. The grape was first planted in California in the 1850s, and it quickly became a popular varietal among winemakers. The grape was also introduced to Oregon and New Zealand, where it thrived in the cooler climates. These new regions became known for producing high-quality Pinot Noir wines with unique characteristics. It's Oregon where the Pinot Noir truly shines. The cool climate and diverse soils in the region allow for the grapes to ripen slowly and develop complex flavors, leading to some of the best Pinot Noir in the world...which happens to be exactly where our own Pinot Noirs come from!
In the 20th century, Pinot Noir continued to gain popularity around the world. The grape was particularly successful in California, where it was used to make rich, full-bodied wines. In the 1960s, the grape became known as the "heartbreak grape" due to its delicate nature and the difficulty in growing it. But winemakers persisted, and with new techniques and technologies, the grape become widely accepted.
In short, Pinot Noir has a rich history and Oregon has taken it to new heights. So, next time you're in the mood for a delicious glass of red, reach for an Oregon Pinot Noir, you won't be disappointed.