Our LE16 program will be offering a Blanc de Noir from the San Joaquin Valley of California for release in March 2017. As this distinctive wine is such a unique and exciting varietal opportunity, we wanted to blog about the style.
Traditionally done as a sparkling wine, Blanc de Noir, which literally means “white from black” in French, refers to a white wine made from entirely red grapes. The most common Blanc de Noirs are sparkling and are mostly from the Champagne region of France. There they are made with one or both of the only two permitted red grapes of that region, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
So, just how is stunning white wine made from red grapes? Well, it’s all about skin contact. If you’ve ever cut open a red grape, you would see that the flesh inside is actually quite pale, and that all of the pigment comes from the skin of the grape. Red wine is made by pressing red grapes and leaving the pressed juice to sit in contact with the grape skins for some time, allowing the tannins (where the pigment is found) to absorb into the white juice to the desired complexity.
Rosé wines are made by limiting the time the pressed juice is in contact with the skins, so just a little bit of the colour is absorbed. By this same concept, a still white wine can be made from red grapes by pressing the grapes and immediately removing the juice from the skins, thereby blocking absorption of the pigment/tannins. This process allows for the essential characteristics of the grapes to express themselves, with minimal tannins, generally yielding fresh, fruity and approachable wines.
We are so pleased to be offering a Blanc de Noir style this year as part of our LE16 series. This unique wine comes from the San Joaquin Valley of California, and is a still white made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. It is a fresh, fruity, slightly off-dry and approachable wine guaranteed to please the most discerning palates.
As a home wine maker – you can always choose to Sparkle your finished wine. Please ask in store for details on carbonating if this is of interest to you.
Get on the LE16 wait list here. Please let us know which wine kits, how many and which location you would like to pickup at. Thank you.