Pinot Noir

As the Oxford Companion to Wine puts it, 'If Cabernet produces wines to appeal to the head, Pinot's charms are decidedly more sensual and more transparent.'  Responsible for red burgundy and a major component in both Champagne (interestingly there is now more Pinot planted in Champagne than Burgundy) and sparkling wine this early ripening and difficult t to grow variety only succeeds in a handful of places around the world.  For many Burgundians, Pinot Noir is the messenger, not the message and the this philosophy revolves around the concept of terroir, whereby Pinot Noir is simply the vehicle to communicate the uniqueness of individual vineyard sites. 

Outside of Burgundy, Pinot is being grown and made successfully in United States in Oregon's Willamette Valley and in the cooler parts of California including the Russian River, Anderson Valley, Sanoma and Carneros.  In Australia, the best Pinots come from Tasmania and the Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley, Macedon, Geelong and Gippsland in Victoria. Over the 'ditch' it has become New Zealand's most planted and important red variety with Central Otago (the world's most southerly wine growing region) leading the way in terms of plantings.  Other important regions include Martinborough, Marlborough, the Waipara and Nelson.

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