Happy Hour

Happy Hour: 5.16.18

pinot noir 
The wondrous grape variety of pinot noir is elegant, romantic and versatile. It’s a challenge to grow and to make into a quality wine, so it brings out the true craftsmanship of the wine maker and the viticulture of the land on which it grows.

quick facts
» Pinot noir is a noble grape and one of the oldest varieties in the world.
» The name is derived from the French words for black pinecone because of how the grape grows in tight, pinecone like bunches.
» It is grown all over the world and prefers cooler climates.
» It is easily susceptible to diseases since the grapes grow in tight clusters and have thin skins.
» France is the largest grower of pinot noir, followed by the U.S. and Germany.
» It is one of the three main grapes used to produce Champagne.

This region is known for producing some of the finest and most expensive pinot noirs in the world. The terroir (how a particular region’s terrain affects the taste of wine) is very important, as these pinots are heavily influenced by the minerals in the soil. There are four classifications of vineyards in the Cote de Beaune, starting with the best: Grand Crus, Premier Crus, village appellations and regional appellations.
» try this: Louis Latour Beaune Clos du Roi from Cote de Beaune, Cote d’Or, Burgundy, France

santa rita hills ava 
There are a lot of great California pinots, and Santa Rita Hills has become a very popular region—and for good reasons. Located in Santa Barbara, the breeze from the ocean and cooler temperatures are perfect for growing pinot noir. This is one of the youngest wine growing regions; many start as farmers and become wine makers. These grapes and wines are highly sought after. While they’re not inexpensive, if you’re a pinot lover, these wines are worth the price.
» try this: Melville Estate Block M from Santa Rita Hills, California

wilamette valley 
Another young wine region, Willamette has cool summers and mild winters, making it an ideal place to grow the cool-weather grape. Although these producers have not been around long, they have set the stage for making great pinot noir that people love. These wines are not as bold but provide an excellent amount of fruit compared to burgundy.
» try this: Bethel Heights Vineyards Estate from Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon

food pairings 
Because of its lighter body, earth tones and good acidity, pinot noir is very versatile when pairing with food and allows you to be creative with different dishes. It pairs with fish like salmon while also holding its own with a well-marbled beef filet. Also try it with duck or lamb.