Pinot is notorious for its propensity to mutate in the vineyard. This has given rise to many numbers of clones, both red and white. Yes, according to to the DNA Pinot noir, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are genetically all the same grapes. As we mentioned earlier, Pinot noir's native home is Burgundy. Its history in the region dates back hundreds of years. By the time the 14th century, it was lauded as the finest grape and plantings of other grapes, notably Gamay, were uprooted in favor of Pinot noir.
Pinot noir is rarely, if ever blended. It is a grape that showcases its terroir exceptionally well. In California, it seldom has issues with ripening, thus California Pinot noir tends to be ripe and lush: strawberry, red and even black cherry, cola nut and red and purple flowers are all common descriptors. In Willamette Valley, Oregon it produces an intermediate style, with fairly ripe red fruit flavors coupled with more apparent earth notes such as turned earth and mushroom, and has a high acidity. In Burgundy, Pinot noir can produce lighter versions, as is common at the village level. The premier or grand cru level wines that are incredibly age-worthy, with deep color and more developed tannins. These wines have a more pronounced minerality than examples from other regions. The greatest examples of Burgundian Pinot noir are among the greatest wines that mankind has produced. Most wine drinkers have dreamed of Romanée-Conti, La Tâche and Richebourg in Vosne-Romanée, even if they aren't Pinot drinkers!
Pinot noir produces versatile wines; it goes with chicken, lighter meat, game or even the occasional fish dish (think salmon)! Its natural acidity and the wide array of aromas, flavors and depth of character offer wine lovers quite the range of options. With a world of styles to choose from, Pinot noir is a wine definitely worth further exploration.