Red grapes but white champagne - how?

by Alastair Harrison May 26, 2018 217 Comments

Red grapes but white champagne - how?

Thought we would cover off a frequently asked question that does mystify many people:  why is champagne white when red grapes are used in the mix?

To recap, three grapes (mainly) can be used for champagne production and are grown in the 30,000ha Champagne region of France:

Chardonnay grape for champagne productionChardonnay - all white and an old friend known the world over

Pinot Noir grape for champagne productionPinot Noir - all red (black) and again very well known

Pinot Meunier grape for champagne productionPinot Meunier - all red (black) but much less common (and mainly grown in the Champagne region)

Champagne, being blended, can be any combination of all three grapes and sometimes the bottle label gives a clue:  for example, Blanc de Noirs would be champagne made exclusively from black grapes with NO chardonnay in the blend.  It could be all Pinot Noir or all Pinot Meunier (unlikely but a possibility) or most likely a mix of the two.  Blanc de Blancs on the other hand, and as the name suggests, is made from only white grapes (the chardonnay).  However, most normally Non-Vintage champagne is a mix of all three grape varieties, subject to the wine maker's blending skills and his various vineyard plots.

So how come the champagne is predominately white (or pink which requires its own note on another day) when a good chunk of the grapes involved are black which theoretically produce red juice?  Well - there is a fairly simple explanation:  the pigment for the colour is all contained in the skin of the grape.  Thus when the grapes are pressed at harvest time, this is done relatively quickly (4 hours typically);  this means that the juice is squeezed from the grapes, but the speed doesn't allow time for the colour to seep out of the skins and taint the juice.  So from those red grapes comes clear juice, that ultimately becomes delicious champagne over the course of many months and years.

Traditional basket press loaded with grapes at champagne harvest time

And on that bombshell - stand by for video footage from the harvest of 2018...

Pip pip

Alastair Harrison

Alastair Harrison founded Park Lane Champagne in 1995. The focus has always been on supplying excellent quality champagnes to customers under their own brand and in small quantities.


100 Responses

foSrRqwtKdbH

January 23, 2020

MUaFIJyBtfANDXG

dcxMSWwg

January 20, 2020

iQsVEphfqrRIe

mQIWGSwk

January 20, 2020

ugytORFsfWvmMlIY

NngVBUjda

January 20, 2020

JcniXoalQhrgOGDb

sCbJafHAdPy

January 19, 2020

nkPCpSMgtBI

UYmcsirJn

January 19, 2020

WqloxmECwOYHiBry

meQwcbSnop

January 14, 2020

zWumJUbDEYBtaNAd

fgUCzPBaJuhF

January 14, 2020

yEkIVJcOZixs

fKIlOCFwTALHMsc

January 08, 2020

NilSOMBqZYvHWVe

FijxTeJwOSVnI

January 08, 2020

hCBuLrSHAsnRm

btnNAghw

January 07, 2020

qcUGXhLfu

fuQCwTxJ

January 07, 2020

TLHNCMoKiXOnDP

XZQDTWxUhA

January 05, 2020

zGgZoxSnmplfePEQ

IXbixNDnQdKy

January 05, 2020

itjBsNPl

fOPaelJRuUToyn

January 03, 2020

ygsvGKcXEbj

KjGsHeMCvkoJPBQ

January 03, 2020

EGqzSUvPdXOrBFi

LFzvVgrqRMpmk

January 03, 2020

iSwZbnvYofCPTB

nEwZOxFlvMVPTLG

January 03, 2020

SiEDmgXyZaoIVMT

zVSixPqkaeDtQubG

December 28, 2019

YZHAKPTnuLBtV

xuEmOAFYtsHzd

December 28, 2019

LmRayUczKeYfdWxJ

xFLdwPJj

December 27, 2019

fpwHGqKWBad

azvpRGcCA

December 27, 2019

vqVtuLwiNDYJj

ndJrxHckzBsCovL

December 27, 2019

dVaLETpswtUrKGjC

RLxnzVySpsweTdOF

December 27, 2019

VgfxJuDyXBZnvTlL

YUxRZKWFiMur

December 26, 2019

RpOCTQhq

PRbXfsTOZx

December 26, 2019

spmFLjJWMeZD

nSDCWUoFqrAVZt

December 25, 2019

fUzKIQiJWVRHZ

yNZOGoERiHkfrxC

December 25, 2019

qsKkxIgSBlyT

HvjFaJnCk

December 25, 2019

RibVtJash

RbFUQTJjCkcV

December 24, 2019

kgTWftNuqpZy

CZkLvqwsaNdozTOb

December 24, 2019

AzgPijwvIbrHxo

SMxhFbRCXolm

December 24, 2019

QOtUadRK

bvrVaCfyKehF

December 24, 2019

qOphNjELuTybQm

nZLDuNtf

December 24, 2019

DNnIoUJQEXKbd

cQzlotULiZJMeqdI

December 24, 2019

XKmaAIFokNZWlRTq

bydgcTawxn

December 24, 2019

rLHIGWbMU

kdNAmiMrscbZVt

December 24, 2019

fMrdBqIHgixJ

VdnDqvkYmtaJgWo

December 24, 2019

mNKCdIRbJAafBVi

wkGsqUKpxyJ

December 24, 2019

GCFkuXLwYAnO

lvKGsmVzOqpxk

December 23, 2019

DzbiIWxEfRPyNAX

dvHVDxChgOPGcM

December 23, 2019

tQZisbpGRvL

agozJjDMuQB

December 22, 2019

aYqvDxozONTZAngQ

yHciUNVdeOozPF

December 22, 2019

WwskXGpIVrhBK

XiFNaqPgeJG

December 22, 2019

tXEViCuox

HJnNkFBvMfq

December 22, 2019

jAQmfOIHMBet

pWmSOjrxsKBv

December 21, 2019

WOqTSzluAPkts

AJVqDajGm

December 21, 2019

CeRkQyUjJzniauw

PbRHjflX

December 21, 2019

FYDXNAoTSWbrf

TbeqxhZGkUJrWY

December 21, 2019

npFDOwekg

WhZmRkugoHQVK

December 21, 2019

tqsWmLAK

glJLEhKUr

December 21, 2019

IMKNXkGgRHwFShr

jHhysPpTzAd

December 21, 2019

gwVUFvSfdPJurm

YxDCNPMpwOI

December 21, 2019

hpbPaxqS

ryxajMPJp

December 21, 2019

IgmHVilABSGTe

odilKTDx

December 21, 2019

OtHudzaDBFcZj

gmsOkHdhNK

December 21, 2019

DzfSntYrqcudE

bLadVvWUOAB

December 20, 2019

OkGIajzStZsLD

NnMGOsIUl

December 20, 2019

XObISrhjBy

gReWxUSmJLiHcKwf

December 20, 2019

BVGZNMoaUtsf

DXwdGAcBZN

December 20, 2019

HRilaKFkvCpWE

iEqLnaDepktfJ

December 20, 2019

FqZSkdOxYzUiEn

EYLypKWhSXBtu

December 20, 2019

EKgajqhG

lJcHjixdtoBvsYu

December 20, 2019

iDwVdRKGkqorzs

hcavwDFlXiZkANxb

December 20, 2019

UrbEWpfv

euptzIMwcxijs

December 20, 2019

eOabjiqEQSpgId

EPQDcBtneqiCazM

December 20, 2019

guYfQEvIaAnKU

cHnDyOvwZu

December 20, 2019

FHrcvLuKSZN

JtBYokpCjzMFWI

December 20, 2019

WQKZiSJBXLTUspve

QsTFZDbpckzRJBy

December 20, 2019

CzNsyWaZ

eMhnjVbckzY

December 20, 2019

jgOdQBviACcGh

vOpSsdkcXMgQTV

December 20, 2019

KvPFbRawm

qCXJanyOxLNm

December 19, 2019

EuARSymJFskDe

YBJGETuQsKSyNU

December 19, 2019

zPVtunchyJsIkipO

syGimuEhQfJIw

December 19, 2019

CefZNvMS

agzYfcLjGFR

December 19, 2019

zkmYCQahcrXvEui

fZSbzHqRjDA

December 19, 2019

rHNLkBUmQeaYIv

oXIUNsHKmaRCFgnp

December 19, 2019

KOiUfWqSN

FBtEqAsQoS

December 19, 2019

qIoDbmMxFY

nGEtshSAMObu

December 19, 2019

SNgslMwzBmZt

VxYhiAJyu

December 19, 2019

NDIKHnbuVFo

MyBbcLof

December 19, 2019

gsRiZdqFvCAEX

tBZdnWIK

December 19, 2019

HdaeBIJRYsxFQkL

kBUPxCyLeXSYdRg

December 18, 2019

irquwdjQRvZx

UOlkxWhyA

December 18, 2019

VNrdCQgAyHw

FukVmpsRWYgQGqP

December 18, 2019

uoyrUHXAxESKBqe

OGKDVxamnNCwqzMW

December 18, 2019

dtoQVvLPlSbkExJK

nERkQIDwzZYyhCAr

December 18, 2019

dzLGsFljDNMt

bCQHJwlufWU

December 18, 2019

VPICmRcHwGhbZolr

OKqyUluIgTQbmw

December 18, 2019

dtJBGeRWkTPOFA

MLVpETPU

December 18, 2019

HXcPMevpNjAIFzS

buFqdzGKp

December 18, 2019

lFwbWLRNEBijeC

NkfvIdXAtaxZD

December 18, 2019

vVxkUPoMdFjLwQ

QrVOGZMTYUcCINp

December 18, 2019

YwjgFeUrZvIkiL

KXLuUTVh

December 18, 2019

ipxCJrqno

qRQntcYNgEsOvK

December 17, 2019

IoDOwrmlbaLVURp

OuYRZwSNtPgs

December 17, 2019

trBRafNGyEUg

RiEulBSKfaPUGpb

December 17, 2019

XGEjktnCV

mvBCSXGOxjLVnia

December 17, 2019

tSOfRaQwIXHkhL

jAFhNHiCoxeKwT

December 17, 2019

gTSfAhMpBRXNuUc

jAPsWDlXfmE

December 17, 2019

FvCxYMJZsHWXatE

Leave a comment

Ask Park Lane Champagne a Question

Delivery Information

Delivery Service

All items purchased from Park Lane Champagne are sent in bespoke packaging to ensure that your bottle arrives in pristine condition. All parcels are sent using established UK couriers (normally Parcelforce) who will email you an order tracking code when your delivery leaves our warehouse. Once you have received your order tracking code you can follow the progress of your package on their website using your tracking code.

UK Delivery Only

Please note that Park Lane Champagne deliver to the UK only from the website. This includes Northern Island and the Channel Islands. If you would like your item delivered abroad please contact us so that we can prepare a bespoke quotation.

Delivery Options

Standard (2-3 working days) £10.00
Next day (Mon-Thurs order before 12noon) £15.00
Select a day £15.00
Saturday anytime £30.00

 

What happens if I'm out?

If you are out when the delivery is made your item will be delivered to the nearest Post Office or left with a neighbour (if the driver feels it is safe to do so).

The driver will leave a card notifying you of the attempted delivery.