Why We Love Pinot Noir
Paul Giamatti’s character in the film Sideways explains it best.
“It’s a hard grape to grow. Thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. It can grow in these really specific little tucked away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who takes time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.”
This ancient grape originates from Burgundy in France, but as its popularity spread, so did its vines. However, it won’t call just anywhere its home.
“It is notoriously difficult to grow, as it has very thin skin and does not like too much heat, but needs the heat to ripen,” says Paddy Magill, Chairman of Vine Wine Ltd.
Pinot Noir is known for being a temperamental grape. It’s sensitive to fluctuating winds and frost, certain types of soil, heat, and how it’s cropped. They’re large in size and packed with an incredible flavour, but also extremely fragile. So much so, that one of the 20th century’s most influential winemakers, André Tchelistcheff, famously said, “God made Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the devil made Pinot Noir.”
But despite its sensitive mood, the demand for Pinot Noir is higher than ever. Vineyards specialising in the plump grape can now be found alI over the globe in countries such as Argentina, Canada, New Zealand South Africa and the United States. It’s also widely popular across the UK, and that’s why we’ve brought Paddy Magill to The Castle Hotel for an evening of study, taste and praise.
“I decided on a Pinot Noir dinner with The Castle Hotel because it’s my favourite grape variety and it makes wines that are very diverse and from all corners of the globe,” says Paddy.
“There is nearly a Pinot Noir for every type of food, from the very light, easy-drinking wines to the much heavier and extremely well-structured wines with great depth and a wonderful finish. It’s the hardest grape variety to make wines from, so when it’s good, it’s a real achievement for the wine maker.”
Paddy has been in the wine trade for more than 30 years, and says he has had wonderful experiences within the industry. He established Vine Wine in 2015 as a “one-man-band,” hand selecting wines to fit the individual tastes of the consumer.
“[Choosing a wine] is never easy, as we all have our own individual tastes. And so it’s my job to try and find out what they are to fulfil your wine wishes.”
He’s even paired some of his favourite Pinots to our A La Carte menu at Castle Bow Restaurant.
“The Brixham Turbot, Pigeon and Pork Tasting dishes are all great for Pinots, but it really depends on each wine as some are richer than others.”