Blanc de Noirs

June 4, 2024 by
Maytte Rivera

Blanc de Noirs, or “white from black”, is a term used in the Champagne region of France to refer to white sparkling wines made from red grapes.  In this region, production laws limit the use of grape varieties to two reds (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and six whites (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier, Arbanne and Voltis).  To make a “Blanc de Noirs”, only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are used.  These red grapes are harvested, and the juice extracted without allowing contact with their skins, resulting in a clear juice that is then fermented in the traditional Champagne style.

The term has been adopted by many wineries outside of the region to refer to sparkling wines made in a similar manner.  In Napa Valley, California, Schramsberg pioneered this style in 1967, creating the first Blanc de Noirs ever produced in the United States. Since the term is not restricted outside of Champagne, this winery adds a small amount of Chardonnay to their Pinot Noir to give it piercing acidity and backbone, resulting in a complex and fresh sparkling wine.

Author: Maytte Rivera