What is Pinot Noir?

At Ram’s Gate Winery, we know that Pinot Noir is everything to its wine enthusiasts—both in Sonoma and around the world. 

The wine’s hardcore following is credited in part with the Pinot Noir grape’s versatility that creates a wide range of textures and flavors. 

Pinot Noir undergoes a complex journey from fruit to harvest and fermentation to bottling, making it the darling of winemakers around the world. 

What Makes Pinot Noir So Special?

Pinot Noir is a distinctive red wine that commands attention by showcasing bright red fruit, earth, and spice, with an incredibly balanced structure.

Starting with its fruit, the grapes are notoriously difficult to grow because they can be easily manipulated by the elements. 

The thin skin makes it a fickle bunch, literally, as the grapes grow in tight, pinecone-like clusters that make it susceptible to mildew when the canopy is not diligently managed. 

It has a natural ability to be lighter than other red wines, with low tannin, making it easily enjoyable to a wide-ranging audience. 

Pinot Noir enthusiasts enjoy a dry, astringent sensation upfront, which is a reflection of the crushing and fermentation process.

Depending on the terroir, or the clone that is used, Pinot Noir varietals may range from red fruit aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and cherries that make them easy to love to earthy aromas that add the complexity that is often reserved for long-time Pinot Noir lovers who are adept at pairing it properly. 

Even wine enthusiasts who are not huge fans of Pinot Noir itself benefit from the grapes. 

Champagne and sparkling wine production requires the Pinot Noir grapes, making it the most-planted varietal for bubbly. 

Likewise, Pinot Noir can be used to make Rosé, complete with crisp flavors of pomegranate, strawberry, and watermelon, with a bright and enjoyable acidity.  

Cheers, indeed!

How Does a Sonoma County Pinot Noir Measure Up?

Sonoma County is known for producing some of the most elegant Pinot Noir in California.

Whether you love the savory side of the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir or the density of the Russian River Pinot Noir, the complexity of our Ram’s Gate varietals provides both the complexity of a dark fruit-forward wine to the rich and supple expressions that pair perfectly with gamey flavors of duck, rabbit, or quail.

Pinot Noir Wine & Food Pairings in Sonoma

Pinot Noir enthusiasts are loyal to the delicacy of their beloved wine, which is what makes its pairing with meat dishes so popular, as it is the balance this beautiful wine creates that keeps wine lovers coming back for more. 

Whether you are a devoted follower of the wine or would like to properly try—and possibly appreciate—the complex varietal, Ram’s Gate has the perfect opportunity for you to try it alone or coupled with our Executive Chef’s exceptional wine and food pairings that draw visitors to our Sonoma gateway location each day. 

Reserve a table to enjoy a flight of five different wines today or schedule a Five-Course Wine & Food Pairing experience that will allow you to discover just how discerning your palate really is.