ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Why is it so difficult to grow Pinot Noir grapes?

—Hans K., Venlo, Netherlands

Dear Hans,

The biggest challenge with Pinot Noir grapes is their thin skins. This makes them sensitive to temperature fluctuation and susceptible to sunburn. The thin skins also mean that rot, fungus and mildew can become problems.

Because of this, Pinot Noir typically does better in cooler climates, but growing grapes in cool climates can be tricky. Pinot Noir also has a propensity to low yields, which means there is less room for error.

—Dr. Vinny


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