The USA Makes Great Pinot Noir!

When you think of great Pinot Noir, you probably think of Burgundy. Nowhere else on earth has the Pinot Noir grape found the same soils, climate and laborious love than has been found in the Cote D’Or- the heart of Burgundy. 

Keep in mind, though, that the Pinot Noir grape is a ‘just enough’  grape. It likes just enough sun, just enough water and just enough warmth in the spring to avoid early frosts. It does best in chalky or sandy soils that also contain some clay.

Those conditions exist in Burgundy- but they also exist in the United States. Specifically on the west coast in Oregon and California. 

The Willamette valley is in Oregon, and it’s the heart of Pinot Noir in the U.S. With a cooler climate and a mix of appropriate soil types, Oregon makes fabulous Pinot Noir- mostly in a lighter, finer, more ‘Burgundian’ style that likes to reflect the ‘terroir’ of a vineyard. French producers have close ties with the Oregon wineries.

Although Josh Jensen pioneered the limestone soils further inland, most California Pinot Noir is grown near the coast, where cooling fog in the afternoon keeps the grapes from excessive heat and sun.

The Sonoma coast, the Carneros region and the Central coast have good soil mixes- though California winemakers may be more interested in showing off the fruit, rather than the terroir. The best show both to advantage...

Yes, you can find great Pinot Noir in the USA!

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