WHY IS PINOT NOIR SO EXPENSIVE?
The reason Pinot Noir is one of the hardest grapes to grow in the wine world, is a combination of factors that make this finicky grape a winemaker’s headache during the growing season. Pinot Noir’s thin skin, tight clusters and late ripening all combine as obstacles.
Most of us – whether our wallet allowed it or not – have gone down the rabbit hole of Pinot Noir at some point in our wine appreciation journey. While your first Pinot Noir may have been a simple, light, and fruity number from a big name winery, at some point someone gave you a glass of fine Pinot Noir and everything changed in an instant.
It was magical – remember? It was at once delicate and brooding, a blend of subtle flavors that were more than the sum of their parts; almost ethereal. So why doesn’t every producer make wine like this? You’d certainly drink Pinot Noir every night if so, right? If you asked your friend who introduced you to that first amazing Pinot experience and how much they paid for the privilege, you’d understand why. Pinot Noir is one of the most expensive wines on the market.
The skin of a Pinot Noir Grape is one of the thinnest in the vineyard. This thin skin imparts less color and tannin than sister varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. It also makes it extremely susceptible to damaging temperature fluctuations while on the vine, easily ruining the grapes before they are ripened – and that’s if it doesn’t fall to disease due to its tight clusters!
Pinot Noir does much better in cooler climates like the maritime Hemel-en -Aarde valley and often does best in sites that don’t experience abundant sunshine throughout the year. Therefore it takes much longer for the Pinot Noir grapes to ripen fully and be ready for harvest. So the grapes stay on the vine longer than most, and every day is a gamble with finicky Pinot Noir.
As a result of all these factors, Pinot Noir can be very light in body and color and as a result many of the lower priced Pinot wines on the market are blended with other bigger darker varietals such as Zinfandel or Syrah. This may make a better looking wine but it is NOT pure Pinot Noir.
Enjoy a glass of the real thing! Cheers !
PRODUCERS OF PINOR NOIR IN THE OVERBERG
LOTTER FAMILY WINES
WALKER BAY ESTATE
OAK VALLEY ESTATE
(Please note that there may be other Pinot Noir producers, but they have not subscribed to our website)