Why is it so difficult to grow Pinot Noir grapes?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

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

Vineyard Management Winemaking Techniques Explained Red Wines Pinot Noir Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

Should I be worried about small temperature and humidity changes in my wine cellar?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers advice for wine storage and a helpful tip for …

May 29, 2020

Is it normal for old wine to be cloudy?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where sediment comes from and strategies for …

May 27, 2020

I love screwcapped wines, but I had two stored on their sides that started leaking. Is that common?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains proper storage for wines with twist-off caps.

May 25, 2020

What are wine tasters trying to communicate when they describe “texture”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the concept of "texture" in wine, and how …

May 22, 2020

Can I grow wine grapes in Ohio?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers advice and resources for anyone considering …

May 20, 2020

What’s the best way to keep an open bottle of wine at the ideal serving temp?

Wine Spectator 's expert Dr. Vinny offers some tried-and-true methods for cooling down a …

May 18, 2020