Pinot is one of the most popular family of grape varieties in the wine world. It is known for its subtle aromas and its ability to reflect the terroir from which it is grown.

Origins of Pinot: an ancient and mysterious history

The exact origins of Pinot remain somewhat mysterious, it is thought to have ancient roots dating back to Roman times. However we can certainly trace it back to Medieval times when it was widely planted, and production history started to be recorded. Its name “pinot” comes from the french word “pin” meaning ‘pine’ and references its tight cluster of berries, the shape of which resembles a pine cone. The secondary names of the Pinot family quite obviously represent the skin color of the grape; Noir, Gris, and Blanc. These grapes each share the same DNA, with different outward expressions of their phenotypes. This family of grapes have in fact been so popular and prolific, that they have varietal family members just as popular. For instance Auxerrois, Aligote, Sacy, Gamay, and Meunier can all claim Pinot as a parent; leaving almost half the varietals in France, native or not, to claim Pinot as a cousin.

pinot noir

Exemplars of Pinot in France: Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne

In France, Pinot is grown mainly in three renowned wine regions: Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne.

* Burgundy: Burgundy is known for producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in the world. The varietal is known in Burgundy thanks to its favorable terroir, an ancestral viticultural tradition, a meticulous classification of climates, and an international reputation for its fine and elegant wines.

Some of our wine in Burgundy : Domaine Pierre-Laurent, Domaine les Guettottes , Vincent Girardin – Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de la Thalie, Domaine Famille Picard

* Alsace: Alsace is a region located in the North East of France, near the German border. Here, Pinot varietals are mainly used to produce white wines of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, though Pinot Noir is growing in popularity for red wines. Alsace wines are generally lighter bodied and fruitier than those of Burgundy with a noticeable minerality.

Try out our Domaine Charles Frey – Quintessence and Jules Muller Pinot Gris

* Champagne: Pinot Noir plays an essential role in the production of Champagne. It is used as a key component in the blends of this famous sparkling drink. Pinot Noir, combined with Chardonnay and Meunier, brings structure, richness and complexity to the Champagnes. However many enthusiasts prefer 100% Pinot Noir Champagne, known as Blanc de Noir.

Discover our Domaine Henriot – Millesime 2012 and our Duc de Chancay

Here are some other regions these grapes are grown in:

*Pinot Noir: Beaujolais, Corsica IGP, Jura, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone (Diois), Savoie, South-West

*Pinot Gris: Beaujolais, Corsica IGP, Jura, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, South-West IGP

*Pinot Blanc: Languedoc-Roussillon IGP


The different types of Pinot and their characteristics:

  1. Pinot Noir: (Auvernaut Noir in Loire) A hard-to-grow black wine grape with green flesh that is famous in Burgundy. Primary fruit characteristics of cherry and strawberry with secondary and tertiary notes of earth, leather, clove, violets, smoke and truffles that often come out with careful production and ageing.
  2. Pinot Gris: (Pinot Beurot in Burgundy, Malvoisie in Loire, and formerly Tokay d’Alsace) A pink-skinned wine grape that is a color mutation of Pinot Noir, and produces wines from white to rosé-colored wines. It has high extract levels, high sugar levels and medium to low acidity. It can be made into light bodied or full bodied opulent wines, depending on the vines’ yield. these wines show flavors of apples and pears, and in the best examples are accompanied by notes of honey and a beeswax texture.
  3. Pinot Blanc: (Klevner and Pinot Vrai in Alsace) A white grape native to France, and then considered a mutation of Pinot Gris. Growing small berried fruit, it produces neutral white wines with moderate acidity, accentuated with notes of apple and almond.
  4. Pinot Meunier: (Gris Meunier and Meunier Noir in Loire) A black-skinned grape that ripens a bit earlier than Pinot Noir and is mostly used in Champagne. Claiming Pinot as a parent it is a “chimeric” mutation, meaning it has two types of DNA showing two different expressions of its phenotypes, internally and externally. It is native to France and has good acidity with red fruit aromas and subtle hints of rye.
  5. Pinot Teinturier: A rare genetic mutation of Pinot Noir that is “teinturier” or  a descriptor meaning “red stain” which equals having red flesh as well as red skin, often used to add pigment to a wine. This grape is a natural mutation that has surfaced randomly in the 19th century in Burgundian vineyards.

type of pinot

The Pinot Noir 

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest and most prestigious grape varieties in the world. Its history dates back centuries, and its popularity is the result of its unique characteristics and the exceptional quality of the wines it produces.
The exact origin of Pinot Noir is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the North Eastern regions of France, debated between Jura and Burgundy regions of France, where it has been cultivated since Roman times. Over the centuries, Pinot Noir has spread to other wine regions, but it remains closely associated with Burgundy, which is known for its high-quality red wines.

Pinot Noir has gained such a reputation and popularity for several reasons:
Terroir and complexity: Pinot Noir is known for its ability to reflect the characteristics of the terroir in which it is grown. It is very sensitive to variations in soil, climate and growing conditions, resulting in a wide variety of wine styles. Each vineyard plot can produce wines with unique flavors and aromas, which creates great fascination for wine lovers and collectors.

Delicate aromas: Pinot Noir offers a rich and subtle aromatic palette. Wines made from this grape variety often have aromas of fresh red fruits such as cherry, raspberry and strawberry, as well as floral, spice and underbrush notes. These delicate and complex aromas add to the appeal of Pinot Noir.

Elegance and finesse: Pinot Noir is often described as a grape variety that produces elegant, refined and fine wines. Pinot Noir red wines are generally light to medium bodied, with soft tannins and crisp acidity. This combination creates a silky mouthfeel and pleasant drinkability, making them popular with many wine lovers.

What to Pair with Pinot

1. Pinot Noir:
* Roast Poultry: Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with roast poultry, such as turkey or chicken, because of its light structure and subtle aromas. This creates a flavorful and balanced pairing.
* Sautéed Mushrooms: The earthy aromas and undergrowth notes of Pinot Noir complement sautéed mushrooms, whether wild or button mushrooms.
* Grilled Salmon: Pinot Noir can accompany grilled salmon brilliantly, thanks to its silky texture and red fruit aromas, which enhance the flavors of the fish.
2. Pinot Gris:
* Seafood platter: Pinot Gris wines, with their crisp acidity and citrus aromas, are ideal for accompanying a fresh seafood platter, including oysters, shrimp and mussels.
* Grilled Goat Cheese Salad: The floral aromas and white-fleshed fruit notes of Pinot Gris pair deliciously with a salad of fresh berries, vinaigrette, and where the creamy goat cheese is lightly grilled.
3. Pinot Blanc:
* Vegetable Quiche: Pinot Blanc, with its medium body, delicate white fruit aromas and refreshing acidity, perfectly complements a vegetable quiche. This can be a light and tasty option for lunch or brunch.
* Grilled white fish: The freshness and creamy texture of Pinot Blanc pairs well with grilled white fish, such as sole or cod. Its subtle flavors do not overwhelm the delicacy of the fish but can stand up to a citrus or cream sauce.

You can find below all our Pinot wines :

Domaine Charles Frey – Quintessence – Alsace 

Domaine Henriot – Cuvée Hemera – Champagne 

Vincent Girardin – La Maltroie – Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru 

Vincent Girardin – Vieilles Vignes – Chambolle-Musigny 

Domaine Henriot – Millesime – Champagne 

Domaine les Guettottes – Aloxe-Corton 

Domaine Deveney-Mars – Savugny-lès-Beaunes 1er Cru 

Domaine de la Thalie – Rully 

Duc de Chancay – Champagne 

Domaine Labry – Auxey-Duresses

Domaine Famille Picard – Hautes Côtes de Beaunes 

Domaine Pierre Laurent – Hautes Côte de Nuits 

Domaine Annie Derain – Bourgogne 

Jules Muller – Pinot Gris Reserve

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