Pinot Noir, one of the noble red grape varieties, is the basis for some of the most valuable wines in the world. France is the spiritual home of the grape variety, where it is the only variety from which cellar-worthy red Burgundies are made. The variety is also widely grown in the New World, with some of the most expensive bottlings coming from California, Oregon and New Zealand.
Pinot Noir grapes have been made into wine for more than 2,000 years. In cultivation, the variety is susceptible to mutations, which has led to the multiplication of numerous clones. The Pinot Noir mutations are the best catalogued among the Vitis vinifera grapes.
The top class of Pinot Noir comes from Burgundy, more precisely from the vineyards of the Côte d’Or, which is divided into two sections: the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits. Pinot Noir is grown in both areas, but the Côte de Nuits is best known for its powerful and structured wines.
Many of the most sought-after bottlings come from villages such as Nuits-St.-Georges, Vosne-Romanée, Vougeot and Chambolle-Musigny.