Posted by: fortheloveofwine | March 23, 2008

The Heartbreak Grape

I couldn’t have a wine blog and not comment on Pinot Noir.  After the release of the movie Sideways, Pinot Noir’s popularity suddenly rose. This delicious grape probably draws the biggest crowd of snobs in the world of wine.  It seems that everyone has a different idea on what a good Pinot Noir should taste like.  The truth of the matter is that the style of Pinot Noir varies from region to region.  The Californian Pinots depicted in Sideways tend to be more fruit forward with higher alcohol levels and softer acidity. A cooler climate like Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon and Niagara produce complex Pinots with brighter acidity and have hints of earth and cedar.   Donning the title Heartbreak Grape, it is thought that Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to grow.  Pinot grapes have very thin skins making them more susceptible to the penetration of moulds and fungus. They tend to like warm days and cool nights.

There are some great local Pinots in my cellar.  My favourite, of course, is from Coyote’s Run Estate Winery in St. David’s.  We, as this is the winery I work for, make two styles of Pinot Noir distinguished by the types of soil that each section of grapes are planted in.  Naturally occurring on the property is a red-clay soil, which produces wines that are more fruit forward, perfumed and aromatic. On the other half of the property is a black-clay soil, which produces wines that are more earthy, smoky, rich and spicy.  Keeping with the coyote theme, they have been named Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir and Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir. The Black Paw Pinot won the prestigious title of Pinot Noir of the Year for Canada in 2003 and 2004.  Both Pinots are delicious.



  1. I enjoy Pinots as well, great tasting wine!

  2. Andrea,
    You should keep this blog going after school is finished, I enjoy these lessons on wine.
    I still haven’t seen sideways, can you believe that?
    But I also prefer Pinot Noir from the Niagara Region, and will have to try the you speak of from Coyote’s Run.

  3. Your post is very timely as I just watched Sideways.. and did it ever make me want to drink some pinot noir.

    Thanks for the information.

  4. Even though I am not that well versed in wine, I would have to say that over the past 7 months you have opened my eyes to trying more wine. Thanks Andrea!

  5. Andrea, enjoyed reading your blog about wine. i have never been a huge fan of pinot noir but i think I will give it a try. I would love to get the one from your winery. I really enjoyed the wines from your winery that I got a chance to try.

  6. A very nice Blog..I enjoy Pinot Noir. Canada’s wineries can be proud.

    Coyote Run produces outstanding wines.

  7. Thanks for the nice comments. This blog was a school project. I am sad to say that I have let it go since graduation.

    I’m glad you enjoy the wines at Coyote’s Run. I think Dave Sheppard is a fantastic winemaker. We are getting ready to bottle our 2007 Red Paw Vineyard and Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir. I’ve had a chance to help Dave with some “quality control” and I have to say that the new pinots are quite spectacular. I hope you can come by the winery to try them for yourself.


    I just started my Blog

    You work at the winery NICE!

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