March 9, 2023 by
Maytte Rivera

A mutation is a change in a varieties’ characteristics that occurs when a grape reacts to significant environmental changes in temperature or diseases.  This happens mostly when a vine feels “attacked” and naturally adapts its traits to survive. A grape is considered a mutation when several of its characteristics are not identical to is parent. 

One of the most famous mutations can be seen in the red grape Pinot Noir, which at some point stopped creating anthocyanins, the chemical compound responsible for the pigmentation of red grapes.  This gave way to the pink skin in Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) and the white skin in Pinot Blanc.  For a fun tasting of these mutations, try a bottle of Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir next to Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio and Trimbach Pinot Blanc.

Color mutation can also be seen in the red grape Tempranillo in the region of Rioja, Spain.  Production laws in the area now allow for Tempranillo Blanco to be bottled as a completely different variety. Try a bottle of Nivarius Blanco to experience this up-and-coming variety.

Grape vines are truly exceptional beings!

Author: Maytte Rivera

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