Pinot Noir has enjoyed a faithful following for quite a while, but the 2004 Hollywood production, “Sideways” flung its popularity to dizzying heights in mere days. Apparently, the movie has three stars: a wine afficionado played by Paul Giamatti, a love interest played by Virginia Madsen and the divine Pinot Noir that, alas, lacks a fitting Oscar category.

Like the protagonists in the movie, many wine lovers see Pinot Noir as a wonderful accompaniment to a wide range of foods as well as a sensual addition to a romantic evening.

The History of Pinot Noir Grapes

The grapes used for Pinot Noir wine are among the oldest in the world. These vineyards have been cultivated since the first century AD by the Romans. At that time, the Romans called Pinot Noir “Helvenacia Minor”.

As time went on, Catholic monks took over the vineyards. They began growing the grapes for wine for the Pope and religious sacraments. However, during the French Revolution seized vineyards were property of independent owners in the Burgundy region of France.