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Colour of Wine

The skin of the grapes are chiefly responsible for the colour of wine. The juice of both red and white grapes is almost always white or clear – the pigments that make red grapes are found in the skins of the grapes. In order to make red wine the winemaker must leave the skins of red grapes in contact with the juice during fermentation. During this process the pigments diffuse into the juice. It is possible to press the grapes and leave the skins out – this produces what is known as a ‘blanc de noir’ or a “white wine from red grape”.

White wines very rarely have skins left in contact with the juice during fermentation – there is no benefit to the colour. Rose wines are made with restricted skin contact, but keeping the tint consistent from vat to vat is notoriously difficult. More often, Rose wines are produced by adding a small set proportion of red wine to a finished white.