Pinot Nero


Synonym: Pinot Noir, Auvernat, Blauburgunder, Pineau, Petit Plant Doré, Franc Noirien, Chambertin, Vert Doré, Schuezir Riesling, Morillon, Klevner Blau, etc. (France and Switzerland) ; Borgogna Nera, Borgogna Rosso, Spätburgunder, etc. (Italy); Spätburgunder (Germany); Burgundac (USA and ex Yugoslavia); Clevner (Mexico and New Zealand).


Commonly mistaken for: Pignola, Trifora, Precoce d’Istria.


Origin: Native of France, from the Rhone Valley; ancient Gallic-Roman growers used to vinify it (called by Pliny: Elvanacea minor) from the 1st century AD.  Pinot Nero is the archetype of the Pinots family; it’s a genetically unstable variety, it has fathered other varieties, such as: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Meunier, and also several biotypes. It is possible to distinguish two fundamental typologies: the Pinot Nero Champagne, to which they correspond the principal biotypes cultivated in the Champagne region, characterized by high yield, that can be fermented with a white wine method to make famous sparkling wines and a Pinot Nero Bourgogne to which they correspond the biotypes cultivated in the Burgundy region, ideal to make important red wines.


Agronomic and environmental aspects: It has a preference for medium-fertile and chalky soil, with a good quantity of calcium carbonate and drainage. Quite tolerant to cold climates, but particularly susceptible to spring frosts. The best results are always gotten when it is grown in cooler and more humid climates. It is suitable for different training systems and pruning methods. VSP, with medium-high density of planting and cane pruning or spur pruning are recommended; also traditional wide or semi-wide training systems give good results.


Diseases, pests and disorders: Can show “dropping off” due to spring frosts. Susceptible to botrytis and quite susceptible to iron chlorosis.



Growing Tip: half-open, cottony, of whitish colour.      

Leaf: medium size, cordate, 3-lobed or 5-lobed. Has a wide opened V-shaped petiolar sinus, often limited through nerves at petiole end; lateral superior sinuses are V-U shaped, while inferior are hardly present. The profile is V-shape with revolute lobes.

Bunch: small size, compact, of cylindrical form and winged.  

Berry: medium size and spherical or slightly ovate, when pressed out of shape by high density of berries; skin is medium thick and strong, of blue-black colour, covered by waxy of bloom.


Vegetation growth habit:

dropping or erect



Average bunch weight:

medium-low (80-150 g.)

Average bunches per shoot:

1 or 2


Growth Stages:

Time of budburst:


Time of flowering:


Time of veraison:


Time of harvest:



Available Clones:

-          VCR 18:Click here to see growth stage photos Biotype of Burgundy, clone selected in Tauriono, around the Pordenone province. Vine characterized by medium vigour and good productivity; small, cylindrical and semi-compact bunches with one short wing. Good resistance to botrytis and chlorosis.


Maturity results:

Vintage 2005

VCR 18

















Wine characteristics:

This variety is a challenge not only for the growers, but especially for the winemakers. Pinot Nero is one of the most difficult wines to ferment: controlling the process, extracting the colour and stabilising the final product are all difficult jobs. The wine can be of high quality, both in red and white vinification. A good red wine made by Pinot Nero is characterised by ripe-grape and black berry aroma, full body, high in alcohol, but not heavy. White sparking wines (champagne style) is well-balanced, very fragrant with a very good flavoured bouquet. In Italy this variety is used in several DOCG and DOC, alone or blended: Franciacorta, Terre di Francicorta, Valtellina, Langhe, Monferrato, Piemonte, Trentino, Trento, Alto Adige, Colli di Bolzano, Cardaro, Vicenza, Sant’Antimo, Colli di Scandiano, Lago di Corbara, Assisi, Rosso Orvietano, Controguerra, Contea di Sclafari; in France: Bourgogne, Champagne, Billecart, Salmon, Bollinger, Gosset, Alfred Gratin, Jacquesson, Krug, etc.