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
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.