25 Best Pinot Noir | Under $30 | Under $50 | 2023

best pinot noir

What do you think of when you hear Pinot Noir?

  • Some might just think of it as a medium-light bodied tasty red wine
  • Others may know Pinot Noir grape as the “Thin-skinned. Temperamental. In need of constant care and attention.” As described in the movie Sideways.

Table of Contents

Sideways Effect

One of most successful movies ever made about the wine industry, Sideways, was maybe the first to put Pinot Noir on the map in the states (while decreasing Merlot sales).

This 2004 movie introduced so many people to Pinot Noir that it actually triggered a phenomenon known as the SIDEWAYS effect, which saw Pinot production in CA and sales increase by roughly 170 percent one year after Sideways was released.

Sideways Effect

[Pinot Noir] is not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive, even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know?

And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked-away corners of the world. And — and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.

Then, I mean, oh, its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.

I mean what a great description!! It really does make you want to drink Pinot Noir. And it’s not just your overdramatized Hollywood shtick; Sideways is 100% correct about just how good Pinot Noir truly is.

However, not every Pinot Noir on the shelf is crafted at the same caliber as in Sideways. The Pinots featured in the movie aren’t your everyday Pinot Noir for many.

They average around $50 – $100 per bottle. There is even mention of a Richebourg, which is a Pinot Noir that goes for at least a few thousand dollars ($$$$).

Typically, it’s very hard to find a good value Pinot Noir, so this is my list of top 25 Best Pinot Noirs Under $30 AND Under $50. 

You will find that highest quality, best value Pinot Noirs come from many different regions around the world like Oregon (Willamette Valley) or Sonoma (Russian River Valley). 

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What are the Best Pinot Noirs Under $30 for 2023?

Scroll down for our list of the best Pinot Noir Under $50 and the what Pinot Noir to splurge on…


County Line Pinot Noir

Boutique winery that has organically grown, barrel aged in neutral French oak. Not well known, but if you have a chance to taste this, make sure you let it open up or decant before drinking. Good value for a good tasting Pinot Noir. 

A beautiful Pinot produced by the Sonoma Coast. This is a Pinot lovers type of Pinot because it has some earthy components, like forest floor and leather aromas but it also has many fruit flavors. Then finishing with a hint of chocolate and cola. Its a delicious wine!

Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir

Located off the Sonoma Hwy, the grapes from this 100% Pinot Noir come from a blend of California’s  outstanding Pinot Noir growing regions (Sonoma, Santa Barbara, and Monterey). French oak aged for 10 months gives some subtle oak flavors. Just a balanced, medium-bodied, delicious California Pinot Noir. 

Great winery to visit if you are near the Santa Rosa, CA area. Comfortable outdoor seating surrounding a beautiful fountain.

Oregon (Willamette Valley)

Roserock Pinot Noir

“French soul – Oregon Soil” Their winemaking roots begin in Burgundy in 1880. As one of the first to see Willamette Valley as a great wine growing region that it has become, they continue to be a top-tier winery. Their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines are handpicked, sorted, and individually fermented.

Probably the definition of a boutique family winery located in the Willamette Valley. The name Trisateum comes from their children’s names and the family lives on site. Their Pinot Noir is made with great care and you can tell by the taste. If offered on for anything below $30, then it’s a steal!

This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is produced from a lesser-known region of Yamhill-Carlton District, in Oregon. This is an amazing Pinot Noir for those who like an earthier wine with tart cherries with a smooth texture and some savory notes. Light bodied to medium bodied with a balanced finish.

Tasting notes: Cherry, raspberry, earth, leather, oak, vanilla, hint of spice and smoke

Amity Pinot Noir

Two brothers purchased Amity in 2014 to give a modern twist to their long history in Oregon. When we visited the winery it had more of an informal and unpretentious feel to it which was great, alongside their juicy, delicious, and affordable Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  

Tasting notes: Cherry, raspberry, thyme, chocolate and oak


Domaine Nico Grand Mere Pinot Noir

Domaine Nico is the world’s first extreme high-altitude parcela Pinot Noir. This was a pleasant surprise to me as I wasn’t not expecting too much from a Mendoza Pinot Noir. Typically a region that makes some of the best Malbec in the world, their Pinot Noir does not disappoint!


Truchard Pinot Noir

100% grown, bottled, and produced at their vineyards.  It’s a beautiful winery to visit. Located in Carneros, the coolest region in Napa, making for great Pinot Noir grapes.


Pierre Girardin Eclat de Calcaine Bourgogne

A very new and young winemaker with tons of experience did a phenomenal job on this hard to master wine. This Pinot Noir is a very good-valued Burgundy. Currently $25 on the Vivino app.

New Zealand

This New Zealand Pinot Noir has lots of fruit flavors with surprising freshness and a lengthy finish. It’s just a polished, balanced, and solid Pinot Noir from one of the largest wineries in NZ.

Honorable Mention

These two Pinots can be found in almost all stores. If you’re looking for a good Pinot Noir, these two are always a good choice for an easy drinking, smooth and approachable wine. And you should normally be able to find both under $20.

Meiomi pinot noir grape

They use grapes all over California’s Coastal wine regions. This makes a very smooth, fruit forward Pinot Noir with some vanilla oak flavors. Meiomi is one of the most popular wines in the US. Because its very easy to drink for almost all wine drinkers and non-wine drinkers.

Elouan Pinot Noir

An Oregon Pinot Noir that is light and smooth, lots of cherry and red fruits, with some earthiness at the end.

What are the Best Pinot Noirs Under $50 for 2023?

best wine with filet mignon

Another great red wine from the famous Wagner family of wines. Just like Caymus, Emmolo and Conundrum this one excels as a Pinot Noir wine – smooth with well-balanced flavors that have excellent complexity to them.

Landmark Hop Kiln Estate Pinot Noir

WOW, this is a big, fruit forward, and delightful Russian River Pinot Noir. I highly recommend this medium to full bodied delicious wine with bright acidity and silky tannins.

From a winery that consistently makes fantastic Pinot Noir that any wine enthusiast would love.

enroute pinot noir

With a big mouthfeel and supple tannins, this wine is an absolute beauty. This Pinot Noir wine from Russian River Valley is a great showcasing of how great the wine region really is. 

A lush, juicy wine with a silky texture and long finish. This is a very good Pinot Noir. What an incredible red wine!

About an hour north of Sonoma County, this up and coming wine region makes great value Pinot Noir without the fanfare of Sonoma or Napa.  One of the best tasting Pinot Noir from California.  It has vibrant acidity with juicy black raspberry and dark fruit flavors.

Shea wine cellars estate pinot noir

This is a wonderfully smooth earthy wine with some fruit on the finish from an iconic Willamette Valley winery. This wine has soft tannins, racy acidity, and flavors of dark fruits. It is simply one of the best Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines.

Scribe Pinot Noir 2019

From Los Carneros, the cooler climate region of Napa Valley that produces some of the finest California Pinot Noir.  Scribe is a very popular winery and this is one of the best Pinot Noirs to drink from Napa.

The wine grapes were fermented with indigenous yeasts. And they it was aged in French oak barrels (86% neutral, 17% new) for 7 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. 

Walter Hansel The North Slope Vineyard Pinot Noir

Another California Pinot Noir wine from the Russian River Valley AVA. This wine has some perfumed aromas with savory flavors. 

Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The coastal proximity to the ocean and high-elevation vineyards give the wine its distinct mineral taste and mouthwatering acidity that you can’t find anywhere else! 

100% native yeast fermentation from the Sonoma Coast. You can smell the earthy forest floor and taste the tart cherry before ending with a blood orange twist.

What are the Best Pinot Noir Wines?

Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir​

This is a GREAT Pinot Noir! Made by one of the best wineries producing some of the finest Pinots in the US, if not the world.  

This rich, complex, and intense wine combines savory with earthy minerals and tea. And the soft tannins give way to an elegant and smooth finish. This is an amazing New World Burgundian Pinot Noir for every wine enthusiast!

Another famous and iconic winery from the Sonoma Coast making great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They make tremendous wines with amazing quality, and this one is no different. You can always trust Kistler has great wines with deep flavors and complex tones.

Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir

This delicious Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is from a historic winery that created Oregon’s luxury wine industry. There’s never a wrong decision with their wines.

But I believe this Evenstad Reserve stands just a bit higher the rest. This exquisite wine is robust, well balanced, and complex. It’s just a great red wine! 

Domaine Drouhin Lauréne Pinot Noir 2018

With beautiful views of their vineyards, this is one of my favorite wineries in the Willamette Valley region. And more importantly because of their wines. Again you can choose any of their wine from Chardonnay to Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and you will only find incredible, great tasting wines. 

*prices are subject to change by vendor/seller

California's Hidden Gem Pinot Noir Region - Santa Rita Hills

Santa Ynez Valley Pinot Noir Region

When people think of wine tasting in California, they normally think of Napa or Sonoma, or even Paso Robles. However, the Santa Barbara region of Santa Ynez (just over 100 miles north of LA), is actually a hidden gem of Californian winemaking. 

Typically, you don’t think of such a warm region being good for the cool-climate loving Pinot Noir.

However, this region is unique due to its geography. Located near the ocean, the two mountain regions are actually perpendicular to the coast (west to east) and flank the region, which allows for the cool ocean air to funnel throughout.

It’s one of the little, tucked-away corners of the world the movie refers to and creates the perfect environment for the Pinot Noir grape to flourish.

Pinot Noir Varietal - The Fickle Grape

The Pinot Noir is a wine grape that will only survive and thrive in certain terrains.

If this finicky variety gets too much sun, the thin skin on them will blister, and with too little sun they won’t develop and ripen. That being said, there aren’t many wine regions in the world that can make a good Pinot Noir.

And, for that same reason, it’s not easy to find cheap Pinot Noirs that taste good.

The next time you are looking to buy a Pinot Noir, look for certain regions where they come from.

Again, there aren’t many areas in the world where you can make good Pinot, but these are my top 5 Best Pinot regions RANKED

5 Best Pinot Noir Wine Regions

1) Burgundy – my favorite and the best Pinot Noir wine region by far

2) Russian River Valley, Sonoma – if you’re visiting Napa, take a day and head over here for great touring and wine tasting

3) Willamette Valley, Oregon – well-known Pinot Noir region outside of California. The Willamette Valley is very similar to Burgundy climate and region. 

4) Carneros, Napa – the coolest region of Napa Valley and produces some of my favorite Pinot Noir

5) Sta Rita Hills, CA – like mentioned above, such a unique region because of how close to the equator it is yet still designed with high quality geography

Honorable Mentions for top tier regions: Germany, NZ, Argentina

Quick Facts about Pinot Noir

  • Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Grigio are made from the same grape, just a different color. If you like one, you’ll likely enjoy the others
  • The same region that grows Pinot Noir grows Chardonnay. Some of my favorite Chardonnays come from where my favorite Pinot Noirs are made. (note we are not talking about your big buttery creamy CA Chardonnays that are grown in warm climates)
  • *8/18 is Official Pinot Noir Day
  • I’ve tasted many wines, but by far the #1 wine and the best I’ve ever tasted in my life was a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. (Sadly, it wasn’t under $30 so unfortunately didn’t make the list here)

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