The Pinot Noir grape is widely grown in England and Wales, being one of the three classic champagne varieties, but what about making red wine from Pinot Noir? On the one hand, it seems a good idea, being a cooler climate red grape, not requiring a longer sunny season like a Nebbiolo or a Syrah that we could never achieve here to ripen nicely. However, it is also a notably fickle and sensitive grape and the vagaries of the British climate are not always kind.
The fact that Pinot Noir is grown here for sparkling wine doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suitable for red wine production as a greater acidity is acceptable in sparkling wine and a low yield may be sufficient to produce enough to add in the blend for fizz, while not being high enough for a commercial red.
We did a quick survey of people who know what they are talking about in the world of English wine and asked them to recommend good reds from Pinot Noir. Those with a cellar door open to the public are as shown below.