A Primer On Pinot Noir In The Winery

*This is the second part in our primer on Pinot Noir. Please check out the first entry here to learn about Pinot in the vineyard.


“Pinot is the only red variety that is completely honest, totally clean, no gimcracks; no little hints and fringes that never come through.” - Ken Burnap, Winemaker

At Bayernmoor, we hand harvest our estate Pinot Noir vineyard (include image(s) from harvest) and begin the sorting process as we pick to ensure each grape is representative of our dedication to quality. Once the grapes reach the winery, another hand sorting is performed to eliminate any material other than grapes (MOG).  Finally, the grapes pass through the destemmer which separates the delicate Pinot grapes from the stems so that only the grapes go into the fermentation tank.  Our attention to detail from harvest to the fermentation tank ensures that only the highest quality grapes are used to produce our wine.  As Ken’s quote above says, you can’t hide anything in a Pinot.

Speaking of fermentation, our attention to detail extends to the fermentation process.  We use only small lot stainless steel fermentation tanks, which give us the ability to precisely control fermentation temperature and perform manual “punch downs” of the grapes skins.  During fermentation, we punch down the grape skins, submerging them into the fermenting juice to facilitate extraction of the aroma, flavors, and color that goes into our finished wine.  Pinot’s delicate nature requires that we keep a close eye on the fermentation process, performing punch downs multiple times a day and ensuring that the fermentation temperature remains at the optimum level.

Lastly, we are faced with the age-old battle of oak vs Pinot Noir. Too much new oak and you lose the delicate floral notes, light mouthfeel, and it can even negatively affect the color of the wine. Too little, and you are left with minimal body and a lack of secondary aromas. At Bayernmoor, we use 100% French Oak barrels, 25% of which are new, to reach the perfect balance between the oak and all the wonderful complexities of our Pinot Noir.  If you want to get really geeky, our barrels have a tight grain so that the oak slowly integrates into the wine, giving us finer control over the oakiness of our wine. We age our Pinot Noir for 15-18 months in barrel, followed by additional aging in the bottle.  At this point, our work is done to perfection and our wine is ready for your glass. 

Continue to follow us for our third entry of this primer, where we’ll talk about the life of your Bayernmoor Pinot Noir once it leaves our winery. We’ll give you some great food pairings as well as tips on how to make your bottles last longer (let’s just pretend you have some left over).

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