History The growing of grapes and wine production is thought to have originated in the temperate regions of the Caucasus. For five or six thousand years the Assyrians and later the Pharoahs of Egypt enjoyed wine. Around the last century BC, Julius Caesar planted grapes in Bordeaux and Burgundy. Native populations mastered grape growing by the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD. In America, Cortez planted European vines in 1524 ó native vines were already present. Cuttings brought by Jan van Riebeeck to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa were planted in 1652. James Busby, a botanist, planted vines in Australia and New Zealand in the early part of the 19th century.
Culture Pinot Noir grows best on hill sides as it is susceptible to frost and coulure (poor fruit set). Some experts believe the best Pinot Noir grapes grow in limestone soil. In New Zealand and Australia, Dr. Richard Smith believes the hole in the ozone results in their exceptional Pinot Noir fruit .
Climate Because of itís early ripening, Pinot Noir needs a cool growing climate.
Disease The thin skinned Pinot Noir grape makes it more prone to disease than most grape varieties. These problems include mildew and rot and virsus such as Fanleaf and Leafroll.
Plantings Pinot Noir plantings exist in many countries today. The best producing areas (my opinion) are:
1. Jackson, David & Schuster, Danny, 2001, The Production of Grapes & Wine in Cool Climates, Daphne Brasel Associates Ltd and Gypsum Press, ISBN 0-909049-17-3
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