Pinot noir as a table grape

Most wine grapes are not great when used as table grapes. I have read some vague reports of pinot noir as having thin enough skin to be eaten as a table grape.

Has anyone eaten pinot noir grapes fresh and can comment? Do they taste good? Are the seeds much of an issue? Are the grapes/bunches large enough to eat fresh?


Pinot Noir are very tasty as eating grapes with a couple caveats. They accumulate more sugar than most table grapes while retaining some acidity, but they also are somewhat small berries (so high seed to berry ratio). They’re very prone to bunch rots but in Australia you might be alright?

I don’t think the skin thickness ranks very high on my tasting criteria, except if it impacts disease incidence/severity.


I tried to grow both Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir here in SoCal. I got some bareroot plants for the local box store (Home Depot).

I have been growing both for a few years now and the Pinot Noir vine has not produced any grapes. I just spoke to a person who is growing many wine grape varieties (plans to make wine) in his field and he said the Pinot Noir is not that easy to grow and get fruits.

My cabernet sauvignon is very low maintenance and I get fruits regularly on the vines, lot of them. It also has the small fruits, seeds, and thicker skin than table grapes. But the taste is sweet, even though there is not much to eat. Here’s a photo of my grapes this year.


You have to keep in mind that Pinot noir has an absurd number of different clones and there should be some available with more loose bunches, which should reduce the risk of rot traveling from berry to berry.

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This is true. Might be tricky for a homeowner to get their hands on a Mariafeld or Wadenswil clone but find a vineyard that grows them, chat them up and maybe you can get a few cuttings.


I can say that Pinot Gris, when ripe is a very sweet grape with high sugar accumulation. Most wine grapes can be used as table grapes also, if you can get over the fact that the berries are small and usually they have a lot of seeds. I’ve kept some wine grapes on the bushes and keep taking bunches when I’m walking in the orchard.

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Any variety is great to snack on when its a hundred degrees out and you’ve been picking grapes for the last 10 hours!
That said, from personal experience, the best red wine grapes for eating are varieties like Barbera, Zinfandel, and Grenache. Not coincidentally, they also have fairly large berries for a wine grape.

It takes the same amount of time and effort, less if you’re growing a hybrid, to grow a table grape as it does a wine grape, so unless you are committed to Pinot for winemaking purposes, why not plant a table grape?

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I have 2 other grapes growing in my yard, the Kyoho and a few other common table grapes from Home Depot. The Kyoho and Cabernet Sauvignon are the only ones that fruits regualarly with no maintenance required. I just let the vines grow along my citrus and mulberry trees and the grapes hang down so I can pick them when ripe. I do have some better table grapes (Shine, Queen Nina, Fujiminori, Lady Finger) but have not had any fruits yet.


I grow blush seedless table grape, and was looking at growing another few grape varieties to shade my chicken run. Grapes are so simple to grow from cutting, that I am considering after pruning selling some cutting grown plants, or getting my kids to help and they can make some pocket money.

I wondered if I got a wine variety it may sell well to backyard growers who want to make wine. I have no intention of making wine myself, if I grow a wine variety it would need to be nice enough as a table grape or have some other use. I was told Pinot Noir leaves are good for dolmades, and heard the grapes are good eaten raw.

There are several small wineries and vineyards where I live, some of them grow pinot noir. I am still undecided if I will stick to table grapes or include a wine grape.