It is the prince of grape varieties in the winemaking world and represents pure excellence in the wines made from it. It requires a lot of care, both from the vine grower and the wine producer, it doesn’t give consistent results, it needs climates with a good temperature range and, when the environmental and soil conditions permit, it can produce wines of rare elegance and finesse of flavor. For this reason it has been planted in almost all of the winemaking regions in the world, except for those with hot climates that would produce “cooked” wines, and without the identity that has made it so famous. The origins of the variety probably date back to almost two thousand years ago and its presence in Burgundy is quoted in the fourth century AD.
In Italy we can only talk about the presence of Pinot Noir since the second half of the nineteenth century. Oltrepò, with almost 3000 hectares of Pinot Noir (about 500 of which are for making red wine) is the most important Italian region.
Physiologically the plant tends to bud early, exposing it firstly to the risk of spring frosts and then to the unfertilized flowers dropping off; it is very prone to downy mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis; it is precisely this fragility that has led to intense clonal selection since the 1970s, attempting to solve these problems.
It has small or medium-small leaves, rounded and three-lobed; the bunches are small (12-15 cm), cylindrical, often winged, compact; the berry is medium-sized, spheroid or slightly oval; the skins are medium-thick, blue-black and pruinose.
It is with this spirit of challenge that firstly the Mazzolino Estate and the Oltrepò vine dressers chose it as the variety par excellence, able to produce a noble and important red wine to lay down, the symbol of the winemaking culture and tradition of the region of origin.
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