Short info about the California Pinot Noir

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California Pinot Noir is finally hitting its stride. Producers in the Golden State have historically had a love-hate relationship with this varietal.

The first clones of Pinot Noir planted in California were not suited to the state’s warmer temperatures. Dijon clones have largely replaced the first generation, and are much more successful in the Golden State.

There was a time when it was almost as abundant as Cabernet Sauvignon in Oakville and Rutherford. However, these hot climates usually make disapointing Pinots. There are exceptions, and there are some great, jammy Pinot produced in warm areas of California.

It was not until the 1960s that it was planted in regions previously written off as too cold for grape production. Areas like the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, Santa Ynez, and Carnernos are among the California AVAs that have been making great Pinot Noir in recent years. A large amount of this production is used for sparkling wines.

Pinot Noir makes a wide range of wines from the Golden State. Few California Pinot Noirs will improve for longer than a decade, though there are some exceptions.

Short info about the California Pinot Noir

Carneros Pinot Noir tends to be lean with vibrant strawberry flavors. Poor, unfertile soils give Carneros Pinots their austerity. Russian River Pinot is a bit weightier with darker fruit. Santa Ynez Pinot is weightier still and has plum flavors.

The Sonoma Coast is the new hotbed for Pinot. Many acres of vines are currently being developed in the region.