Making Pinot Noir

Books on Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir
Author: John Saker, 2011
This is the story of of the grape and its history in New Zealand, lavishly illustrated with beautiful photography by award-winner Aaron Mclean.

Grand Cru: The Great Wines of Burgundy Through the Perspective of Its Finest Vineyards
Author: Remington Normal, 2011
For wine lovers, Burgundy is the holy grail, with wineries that have long produced incomparable vin de terroir. But Burgundy is as famous for its idiosyncrasies as for its rare vintages. Through visits to 33 of the Côte d'Or's finest vineyards--the ones that have consistently outperformed others through the centuries--Grand Cru adds new insight into our understanding of this remarkable region and its distinctive approach to quality. In individual entries, Norman profiles each Grand Cru vineyard, providing a listing of its principal owners, origins, topography/geology, the best sources for wine, and more.

In search of Pinot Noir
Author: Benjamin Lewin MW, 2011
Benjamin Lewin, author of the bestselling books, What Price Bordeaux and Wine Myths and Reality, travels from Burgundy through the other cool climates of Europe where Pinot Noir is grown, to the West Coast of North America, and to Australia and New Zealand in search of the true Pinot Noir.

The Great Domaines of Burgundy: A Guide to the Finest Wine Producers of the Cote d'Or
Author: Remington Norman, 2010
Subdivided into hundreds of domaines, often family-run and small in size, Burgundy can seem forbiddingly fragmented even to wine experts. Now, acclaimed wine writers Remington Norman and Charles Taylor help wine lovers unravel the mystery of this grape. In compiling this revised version of their much-praised book, they revisited all the domaines that appeared in previous editions, along with numerous “rising stars,” to select the very best-and remove those that no longer make the grade. Norman and Taylor spoke to the winemakers about their grapes, their soil, and their techniques…and, of course, sampled their wines. In addition to a domaine-by-domaine guide with coverage of the region's microclimates, most important grapes, wine styles, there are tips on buying, storing and tasting wine and a rundown of recent vintages.

Passion for Pinot: A Journey Through America's Pinot Noir Country
Author: Jordan Mackay, 2009
California and Oregon are home to Pinot's greatest expressions in the New World. In Passion for Pinot, award-winning photographers Robert Holmes and Andrea Johnson and wine writer Jordan Mackay capture the grape's allure through portraits and profiles of the top Pinot producers and terroirs on the West Coast.

The Heartbreak Grape: A California Winemaker’s search for the perfect Pinot Noir
Author: Marq De Villiers,
Josh Jensen, the wine-besotted hero of this adventure/love story and founder of the small Calera Wine Company, set out to produce a California wine to rival the best French burgundies--an impossible quest, he was told by vintners. De Villiers ( White Tribe Dreaming ) traces Jensen's apprenticeship in the vineyards of France, his frustrating search in California for the right limestone soil and climate, his acquisition of a barely accessible mountainside in the central part of the state and his dedication to his goal, which ruined his marriage. Along the way, the character of the pinot noir grape and the difficulties of its transformation into the "perfect" wine become as compelling to the reader as to Jensen and the author. Equally absorbing are the details of financing the winery, bottling, labelling, pricing and marketing the wine. This gracefully written tale will delight anyone who takes pleasure in a good burgundy.

Pacific Pinot Noir
A Comprehensive Winery Guide for Consumers and Connoisseurs
Author: John Winthrop Haeger, 2008
Featuring more than two hundred in-depth winery profiles, this definitive guide is the best single source of information on world-renowned pinot noirs from California and Oregon. Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of a grape variety considered by many to produce the ultimate food wine, John Winthrop Haeger offers this expanded, updated companion volume to his award-winning North American Pinot Noir. Here, with three times the number of winery profiles, he focuses exclusively on what he calls the Pacific Pinot Zone, stretching from the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon to Santa Barbara in California and extending up to thirty miles inland. An introductory essay provides an indispensable view of pinot noir in the United States—including the dramatic effect that the movie Sideways has had on its sales and production.

Burgundy and it’s wines
Author: Nicholas Faith, 2008
Burgundy is a unique mix of historic towns and vineyards, great wines, and thousands of stubbornly individualistic wine makers, brokers, and merchants. The spirit of the region comes alive here, through text by award-winning wine writer Nicholas Faith and Andy Katz’s incomparable photographs. Through this perfect marriage of words and images, oenophiles can travel to the Côte d’Or, which produces outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, home of the world’s most expensive red wine; the three outlying regions of Chablis; as well as the Mâconnais, Beaujolais, and many other lovely sites. A selective guide to the best merchants and producers, as well as a directory of appellations and Grands Crus, help wine-lovers in their purchases and on visits to the area.

Grail, The: A year ambling & shambling through an Oregon vineyard in pursuit of the best pinot noir wine in the whole wild world
Author: Brian Doyle, 2006
For an insider's look of a year in the life of a boutique Oregon winery, this is the book. We follow the Lange family, especially son Jesse, from the end of one harvest to the next. We learn that winemaking is not necessarily the romantic adventure we may think, but rather a labor-intensive farming operation with lots of machines that can break, everyday kinds of problems to be addressed. It isn't sitting back on a veranda sipping your latest creation - though there is some of that, to be sure - but lots of long days of often back-breaking work.

North American Pinot Noir
Author: John Winthrop Haeger, 2004

John Winthrop Haeger, known for his perceptive wine writing for more than fifteen years, gives contextual and comparative information about pinot noir in Burgundy and then tells the story of wine producers' early failures, frustrations, and breakthroughs in North America. He discusses plant genetics and clones, identifies the essential conditions for really good pinot, tells where the best wines are grown and made, and analyzes the factors that determine wine styles and signatures. In the second part of the book, he presents detailed producer profiles with accessibly written tasting notes on recent and mature vintages. A final section covers glassware, vintages, wine and food pairings, and other matters of interest to consumers. Maps prepared especially for this book cover all the major pinot-producing regions in North America.

Making Sense of Burgundy
Author: Matt Kramer, 1993

Here, we're talking about Burgundy wines in the most precise sense: the produce, red or white, of the "thirty-one-mile-long escarpment" known as the Cote d'Or in northern France, based on cultivation of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape.

Growing Pinot Noir

Pinot is a difficult grape to work with. It's hard to get a consistent, great Pinot and the problem starts with the plant. Pinot Noir is genetically unstable. A parent plant can produce a plant with wildly different berry size and shape and even flavour. Cabernet Sauvignon has 12 genetically individual clones but Pinot Noir has up to 1,000 possible clones.

Pinot Noir seems to pick up every known vine disease, mould, fungus and/or pest. It's an early ripening variety so spring frosts are hazardous. When picked too late the thin-skinned berries will shrivel up and lose all flavour. Extracting all the colour is another challenge. When fully ripe, the Pinot Noir berry is a very light purple colour and requires careful handling to make the most of the light colour.

Pinot Noir goes through a range of changes as it matures. A young wine will show simple fruity characteristics including: cherry, plum, raspberry and strawberry. The complex flavours emerge as it ages revealing chocolate, earthiness, smoke and truffles.