Inspired by one of VinePair’s most popular site sections, the Wine 101 podcast takes an educational, easy-to-digest look into the world of wine. This episode of Wine 101 is sponsored by Talbott Vineyards. At Talbott Vineyards, we focus on crafting estate- grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands. Our celebrated Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is located in one of the coldest grape-growing climates in California, ideal for these two varieties. Here, the brisk wind and fog rolling off Monterey Bay create a long growing season, producing fruit-forward wines with spectacular acidity. Building on a nearly 40-year legacy of meticulous craftsmanship, Talbott continues to produce highly acclaimed wines of distinction.

Welcome back to Wine 101. In this episode, VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers breaks down the styles and origin of Pinot Noir, widely considered one of the most important grape varieties in the world. Although partly popularized by the 2004 film “Sideways,” Pinot Noir is believed to have existed since the 4th century. Early evidence suggests it comes from the Burgundy region of France.

Notoriously difficult to work with, Pinot Noir earned the nickname “heartbreak grape.” The grape’s thin skin is sensitive to soil, climate, and fungi. Monks in Burgundy were the first to master the delicate grape. In the U.S., Pinot Noir most commonly comes from California and Oregon. The grape is known in other parts of the world by different names, from Pinot Nero in Italy to Blauburgunder in Germany. There are upwards of 50 Pinot Noir clones grown all over the world. Learn more about this global grape by listening to the episode below.

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