Friday, December 2, 2022
HomeWineSouth American Pinot Noir: 20 to strive

South American Pinot Noir: 20 to strive

The world of Pinot Noir is a fancy one. It’s well-known that Pinot is a spread that’s as demanding as its shoppers are. With the reds of Burgundy main the best way, you wouldn’t have thought there was a lot leeway for Pinot Noirs from different areas on the earth to impress.

However California and Oregon have already proven that it’s doable to make good Pinot Noirs within the New World. Whereas in South America as we speak, producers in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay are making varietal wines that demand consideration.

The winemakers of South America are respectfully wanting past Burgundy, exploring new profiles for Pinot Noir in their very own distinctive terroirs. The ensuing wines are eminently able to intriguing even probably the most die-hard Burgundians.

Vineyards and hills in Chile with a blue sky

Viña Errazuriz vineyards in cool Aconcagua Costa, which is nicely suited to rising Pinot Noir grapes


On the flip of the century, producers in Chile started to plant Pinot Noir in several areas of its viticultural panorama. The tactic they adopted was to switch the present previous vines with high quality wholesome clones corresponding to 777, 667, 115 and massal alternatives from Burgundy.

However the important thing ingredient to the success of those ventures was time. Within the early levels, the vast majority of wines produced from these new plantings had been concentrated; fairly totally different from what one may count on from a Pinot Noir.

‘In Chile, we’ve at all times adopted the Bordelais custom and we initially dealt with Pinot Noir in the identical means as we did Cabernet,’ remembers Francisco Baettig, winemaker at Viña Errazuriz. ‘It took us time to know find out how to exploit the potential of our new vineyards however as we speak we’re assured we’re on the proper path.’

And so, with focus and dedication, Pinot Noir turned a severe enterprise in Chile. Along with the elevated floor space, which now stands at 4,144ha underneath vine (in comparison with 1,434 in 2001), there’s the work in several areas and, particularly, analysis into soils.

‘Between 1995 and 1998 we expanded into coastal terroirs with cooler climates the place varieties corresponding to Pinot Noir produce higher outcomes,’ says Viviana Navarrete, the oenologist at Viña Leyda, a number one producer of Pinot Noirs in Chile. ‘Right now Pinot Noir is grown from Elqui to Osorno – a distance of a few thousand miles – and that ends in totally different kinds.’

Nevertheless this range of terroir required better analysis and research. ‘Pinot Noir wants a number of consideration,’ says Felipe Muller, the winemaker at Tabalí. ‘We’ve realized that it’s not only a cool local weather selection, but additionally very demanding when it comes to the soils it wants. Planting in calcareous soils was key to attaining higher expressions.’

Right now, among the finest New World Pinot Noirs are to be present in Chile. Whereas areas nearer to the ocean are producing kinds just like Oregon and sunnier vineyards make wines extra like these in Sonoma, the best work is being performed to provide a refined model of Pinot Noir with its personal identification. A Pinot Noir which displays each its hometown and the imaginative and prescient of its winemakers.

Vineyards in front of a hill with blue sky

Viña Leyda’s El Maiten Pinot Noir Winery is 12km from the ocean


The historical past of Pinot Noir in Argentina is pretty temporary. Till the early 2000s, the variability didn’t appeal to a lot consideration. All the main target was on Malbec. Ultimately, from an previous winery in Patagonia, Piero Incisa della Rochetta started to place the nation on the Pinot Noir map along with his Bodega Chacra wines.

This impressed a number of different producers to hunt out previous vineyards of their very own or discover clones higher suited to Argentinian terroirs. There was additionally a transfer to determine areas the place they would actually thrive.

Surprisingly, Pinot Noir is grown in additional areas of Argentina than Malbec. Not simply in Mendoza and Patagonia, but additionally within the highest vineyards of the nation at 3,100m above sea stage in Salta, and close to the Atlantic Ocean in Buenos Aires.

‘Again in 1992, we began to plant Pinot Noir in excessive altitude vineyards within the Uco Valley,’ remembers Laura Catena, who based Domaine Nico, a venture through which she makes Pinot Noir from 5 totally different vineyards at altitudes of between 1,000m and 1,500m above sea stage in Tupungato. ‘Our work with cool mountain areas satisfied us that there was nice potential.’

About 1,450km to the south of the Uco Valley within the province of Chubut, the group at Bodega Otronia was pondering equally. ‘We determined to wager on an excessive, virgin terroir the place the temperatures are extraordinarily low and the Pinot Noir could be very rewarding,’ says Juan Pablo Murgia, the venture’s winemaker. ‘We really feel that we’ve a singular model.’

The identical enthusiasm will be noticed in every of the producers who’ve set themselves the purpose of creating Pinot Noir to fulfill probably the most demanding palates on the earth. Amongst them – excluding the previous vineyards of Río Negro corresponding to Chacra or Humberto Canale, who obtain a classical European model – the vast majority of Pinot Noirs from Argentina tackle profiles just like both Sonoma or Martinborough in New Zealand. These wines are concentrated and full of life with vivid flavours of cherry and different pink fruit.


Right now, Uruguay has 60ha of Pinot Noir underneath vine the place the vineyards are influenced by the Atlantic Ocean or the Río de la Plata, relying on the area. In each instances, the result’s a light, comparatively cloudy local weather which ends up in advantages and challenges.

‘Pinot Noir has nice potential in Uruguay though the local weather presents difficulties within the subject,’ says Germán Bruzzone, winemaker at Bodega Garzón. ‘Nevertheless, with care and exact winemaking we’re producing refined wines that we’re getting enthusiastic about.’

There are at the least two discernible kinds growing, every associated to its area’s historical past. On the one hand, there are the older vineyards positioned within the historic Division of Canelones by the Río de la Plata, which current a conventional profile with tertiary evoltion.

In the meantime the youthful vineyards, clustered within the Division of Maldonado – which is influenced by the ocean and has poor, rocky soils – produce wines which can be extra trendy and intense within the classical New World vein.

Nevertheless, along with the age of the vines, it’s vital to notice that in each terroirs, when Pinot Noir is tended to diligently, the outcomes will be very attention-grabbing as works in progress. These embody wines from wineries corresponding to Garzón, Deicas and Viña Edén in Maldonado or Cerro del Toro in Piriápolis. Or, within the extra conventional area of Canelones: Familia Pisano, Marichal and Pizzorno.

Prime 20 South American Pinot Noirs to strive























Associated articles

Chilean Pinot Noir: panel tasting outcomes

South American trendsetters: 5 names to know

Amanda Barnes: my high 10 South American wines of 2021



Most Popular

Recent Comments