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  1. Grapes: Pinot Noir

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Not all varieties of grapes are cultivated specifically for wine, but Pinot Noir is an exception. Considered one of the oldest types of grapes in the world, there is evidence that it was in use during the days of the Roman Empire. While the production remains highest in France and parts of the United States, Germany is also home to a number of vineyards with Pinot Noir present. Those three nations account for the majority of the wine made with this grape each year. The name of the grape itself is of interest. Derived from the French words for pine and black respectively, the name describes some of the qualities that make it an ideal choice for wine production. The pine aspect refers to the way the grapes cluster as they grow. The black is a reference to the deep color and the high concentration of tannins found in the mature fruit. Several varieties of wine are produced from the grape, including some white wines. A good year will provide a pleasant bouquet, a desirable texture and taste, and serve as the ideal wine for special occasions.
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