California and Oregon Pinot Noir Guide - Pinot Noir Power - THEGRAPE

Wine Wednesday: A Guide To America’s Best Pinot Noir

This Week In Red Wine: A Guide To America’s Best Pinot Noir

Hmmm… Pinot Noir, the crimson rich mixture of dark fruits, earthy aromas and fruit forward flavors that arouse the senses and seduce the palate. Notorious for its delicate nature, high maintenance, and meticulous winemaking methods are perhaps some of the main reasons why so many develop a profound appreciation and affinity for Pinot Noir. It’s no wonder winemakers of this varietal are commended for their hard work and superb creation!

Although all 50 states are producing wine, only two states continue to produce incredible Pinot Noir. Enter the ‘Kings of Primo Pinot’ in America, California and Oregon. At the end of this article, the only question will be, ‘which state will you favor more than the other and what was your favorite bottle(s) from the list of wines below?‘ Friends, this is only the beginning!



The big and beautiful state of California is home to hundreds of wineries and is one of the biggest producers of wine in the world. Although, when it comes to Pinot Noir, wine regions like: Anderson Valley, Carneros, Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, Santa Rita, and Sonoma, are all renowned for cultivating and producing ‘Primo Pinot’.

The combination of moderate climates that experience warm days full of sunshine, cool nights, ideal soil, modern technology and innovative winemaking techniques are what make California a winemaker’s heaven. Not just for Pinot, but for other varieties as well.


Check out these Grape Certified suggestions:

Masterpiece Vineyards Estate Grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 – $12.99

Sean Minor Pinot Noir, Carneros 2011 – $17.99

Scott Family Estate Dijon Clone Pinot Noir 2011, Arroyo Seco – $28.99

Windsor Oaks Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve 2011, Russian River Valley – $29.99

Richard Grant Wrotham Clone Pinot Noir 2008, Napa Valley – $32.99



In the stunning and lush state of Oregon, winemakers have a reputation for producing some of the best, if not the best Pinot Noir in America. Known as the ‘Burgundy’ of the United States, Oregon experiences temperate climates, has fertile soil, and winemakers who possess artistry for producing divine Pinot wines. This is why many Pinot (Noir) devotees look forward to Oregon’s future vintages!

So what makes the Pinot from this state so distinct? One can only speculate, perhaps it’s because Oregon invested in importing French Vitis vinifera (Pinot Noir, Riesling, etc.) clones straight from France’s Alsace and Burgundy wine regions. Perhaps it’s the result of smaller, family owned and operated wineries, with visible qualities and unique characteristics that showcase the producers and winemaker’s passion and dedication for producing Pinot Noir. Again, we can only speculate. Maybe after enjoying one or more of the following bottles listed below you’ll come to a conclusion of your own…


Check out these Grape Certified suggestions:

Cubanisimo Estate Pinot Noir 2011 – $32.00

Cubanisimo Rumba Pinot Noir 2011 – $21.00

Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée Pinot Noir 2010, Willamette Valley, Oregon – $46.99

Fox Farm “Ana Vineyard” Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2011 – $42.00

Eminent Domaine Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir 2012 – $40.00

Coeur de Terre Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012, Willamette Valley, Oregon – $24.99


Now, who’s thirsty for a glass of Pinot Noir? Hopefully after reading this article you’re inclined to sample the bottles listed above. There’s no telling what the future holds for American wine, but so far, it’s showing great potential. Already several states are beginning to show interesting styles of various varieties including Pinot Noir. Feel free to share your experiences and suggestions of ‘Primo Pinot’ you’ve enjoyed recently! Sharing is caring and exploring helps us discover more about the essence of wine itself and what appeals to our audiences taste. Cheers!

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