The tremendously broad range of bouquets, textures and flavours that Pinot Noir can exhibit, often confuses tasters. The wine leans towards a light to medium body with an aroma reminiscent of black or red cherry, raspberry and to a lesser extent, many other red and black berry fruits. Traditional Pinot Noir originating from Burgundy, France is famous for its savory fleshiness and “farmyard” aromas, while modern winemaking techniques and new clones have favoured a lighter and cleaner style.
Do you know that Pinot Noir is over 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon? Some say that Pinot Noir is the most highly prized wine in the world. Why would this be? Pinot Noir wines are actually quite pale in colour and their flavours are subtle. The grape is known for being a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. Pinot Noir’s natural tendency to produce tightly-packed clusters makes it vulnerable to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. Yet, despite the challenges faced by the vintner in growing the grape and in making the wine, prices for bottles of Pinot Noir are generally higher than those of other red wines of similar quality. Pinot Noir wines reign supreme and are among the most popular in the world.
Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name itself is derived from the French words for pine and black; if you look closely, you will note that the Pinot Noir grapes have tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit. The thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends Pinot to producing mostly lightly-coloured, medium bodied low tannin wines that can often go through phases of uneven and unpredictable aging.
Quality Pinot Noir has been grown in Ontario for some time in the Niagara Peninsula and especially the Niagara-on-the-Lake and Short Hills Bench wine regions, as well as in Prince Edward County and on the north shore of Lake Ontario. In addition to being used for the production of sparkling and still red wine, Pinot Noir is also sometimes used for rosé still wines, and Beaujolais Nouveau-styled wines.
Ontario Pinot Noir is usually lighter in style and has benefited from a trend toward more restrained, less alcoholic wines being at or around 12% alcohol by volume. This style of Pinot Noir is excellently paired with creamy chicken, pork or mushroom-inspired dishes. King’s Court food pairing tip: Milk chocolate with our Pinot Noir!
The family-run winery here at King’s Court Estate Winery takes great pride in showcasing the old world charm of one of the oldest grapes in the world in a modern-day winemaking experience, for our Ontario wine lovers to enjoy.
To put Ontario-grown Pinot Noir on your table, see our selection below: