Blanc de Noir

Wine & more

Blanc de Noir

"White from black" - this is the literal translation of "Blanc de Noir" and stands for a white wine made from dark blue to black grapes. As the name suggests, this form of winemaking has its origins in France, where the red grapes of Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) and Pinot Meunier (Schwarzriesling) have always been processed into white wines as the basis for champagne.

This is possible because red berries generally have light flesh. The red pigment, the so-called anthocyanins, are mainly present in the berry skins. If the juice from red grapes is to remain white, no colourants from the skins may pass into the must. It is therefore important that the red grapes, which are as healthy as possible, are only pressed gently. The light colored must obtained is then fermented to a white wine. A typical Blanc de Noir has a light color and can sometimes have hints of yellow-gold.

If the cellar master leaves the squeezed red berries in the pressed juice for a little longer - the experts then speak of a longer "maceration time" – this is when a little more color passes from the skins into the must and a rosé develops.

After the 10th law amending the Wine Act came into force in January 2021, according to the new Wine Ordinance the designation "Blanc de Noir" or "Blanc de Noirs" may only be used for domestic wine, sparkling wine, quality sparkling wine or semi-sparkling wine if it is a product with a protected designation of origin (PDO) is made from fresh red wine grapes like a white wine and has the typical color of white wine.


Wineries and cooperatives from the Ahr present their Blanc de Noir wines from the 2018 harvest

Why Blanc de Noir?

The white wines obtained from the red grapes are characterized by their distinctive fruit aromas, pleasant freshness and moderate acidity. They combine the full flavor of a red wine with the fruitiness of a white wine and thus display the characteristics of both types. Blanc de Noirs are excellent food companions that go well with a wide range of dishes.

Flexibility and positive side effects

For winemakers who mainly cultivate red grape varieties, the production of Blanc de Noirs is also an opportunity to react flexibly to the increasing demand for white wine. On the other hand, there is a positive side effect for the production of red wine: if the light-colored must for a Blanc de Noir is removed before the maceration, the ratio of the color and tannin-containing skins to the remaining pressed juice in the mash changes. As a result, winemakers and wine lovers can enjoy more complex and color-intensive red wines.