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Is Pinot Noir the wine of wines? Along with its close genetic cousins Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, the red grape we call Pinot Noir is perhaps the most ancient on the planet. Literally thin-skinned, Pinot Noir is nothing if not unpredictable. Its light colour and big aromatics mean bad examples smell like lolly-water yet great ones have such vivid charm and complex power that it can be almost poetic. Changeability may also be why it travels well: its legendary origin lies in France’s Burgundy region but it works a more fruity magic in other moderate climates of North and South America and Australia. And of course in New Zealand, where as our second most planted variety it produces examples that, so has been said, are among the world’s very finest.