Pinot Noir buds and ripens early, so it is susceptible to spring frost. Pinot Noir prefers temperate climates and calcareous-clay soils. If the temperatures are too hot, Pinot Noir will ripen too quickly and the small bunches of thin-skinned berries will quickly turn to raisins. Pinot grows best when the fertility and yields are restricted. These are generic growing characteristics of this varietal. Rootstock selection will impact the production, ripening and growth patterns of any varietal material.
Pinot Noir produces a heavily perfumed wine with scents of earth, spice, cherries, strawberries, herbs, and raspberries when ripe. It is a light to medium bodied wine, with high acidity that can age well. Pinot flavors range widely on how the variety is grown, harvested, and processed.
Pinot is one of the oldest known varieties of grape. One origin theory is that Pinot first grew in Egypt, along with the Nile. From there it was introduced to the Greeks, the Romans, and then the French by the fourth century A.D. where the earliest mentions are located. The first writings of Pinot in its current spelling wherein 1375. The earliest known mention of one of its many synonyms, Moreillon, was in Paris in 1283. Before the middle ages, names of grapes were not often recorded. Pinot was likely propagated well throughout western Europe before the first records.