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White wine from black grapes?
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White wine from black grapes?White wine from black grapes?

It twinkles brightly in the glass, the color sometimes a little lighter, sometimes a little darker. Clearly it’s a white wine. Yet it comes from black grapes. How can that be? The label states it’s a Pinot Noir Blanc de Noir. What does that mean?

A fresh, fruity bouquet tantalizes the nose, reminiscent of citrus fruits, mangos, peaches. Rich and elegant, it rolls over the tongue, somewhat like a Pinot Gris but denser, the finish more compact. That’s its character. On the whole, a gentle, full-bodied wine, but not without spirit! By the way, juice for traditional Champagnes is generally pressed from black Pinot Noir grapes. Blanc de Noir wines are as well. The name’s French and means “white from black”, not a new concept, but one that is constantly winning over the hearts of avid wine drinkers.

So, how can you make a white wine out of black grapes?

The color pigments are found only in the skins of the grapes; the juice itself is white. When the grapes are gently pressed immediately upon harvesting, the first juice runs clear and light in color, perfect for making a white wine. Strictly speaking, by European wine law a Blanc de Noir is a rosé wine, although it’s vastly different in taste. Those typical hints of blackberries and strawberries are reserved alone for the pinkish colored rosé.

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