pinot noir

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A grape variety used for making red wine. Although grown and vinified with some success elsewhere (Oregon, Australia), it produces to its maximum potential only in its spiritual home, Burgundy, and in Champagne. The grapes grow in fairly tight cone-shaped bunches. This is hardly a characteristic unique among vine-types, but it is said to have given the pinot its name—pinot on this theory being a derivative of French pin, ‘pine’, with the addition of a diminutive suffix (in former centuries it was generally spelled pineau, but pinot is now firmly established). Noir, ‘black’ refers to the colour of the grapes; there is also a pinot gris, ‘grey pinot’, which produces a white or pink wine (it is known in Italy as pinot grigio and in Germany as Ruländer, after Johann Seger Ruland, who propagated it in the Palatinate in the early eighteenth century), and a pinot blanc, ‘white pinot’, which produces a white wine.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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