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Blanc de Noir means a white wine, usually Champagne, that is made using black grapes.

blanc-de-noir-champagne

Blanc de Noir Meaning

Blanc de Noir is French and translates as “white from black”, meaning white wine from black grapes.

Blanc de Noir is a term used on Champagne labels to denote a white wine made using black grapes.

For Champagne, this usually means Pinot Noir and or Meunier grapes were used to make the wine.

Brut-blanc-de-pinot-noir
Brut Champagne made from Pinot Noir grapes

Why Blanc de Noir term is used

Using the term Blanc de Noir on a Champagne label provides specific information about how the Champagne was made.

There are seven permitted grape varieties for the Champagne AOC.

The three most common varieties used to make Champagne are:

  • Chardonnay – white grape
  • Pinot Noir – black grape
  • Meunier – black grape

Most Champagne is a blend of different grape varieties, often all three of the grape varieties listed above.

So, when Champagne is labelled “blanc de Noir” that indicates that it is not a blend of white and black grapes.

It means it is likely made using either Pinot Noir or Meunier grapes.

Some labels are more specific and say “blanc de pinot Noir”, indicating that the wine was made using Pinot Noir grapes.

How black grape varieties produce white Champagne

Grape skins contain pigments that give wine its color.

Contact between the grape juice and the grape skins creates color in wine. So, black grapes produce red wine when the grape skins macerate with the grape juice.

For Champagne made with black grapes, contact between the grape juice and the grape skins is minimized.

Champagne grapes are handled carefully to keep them intact before pressing to avoid any contact between the juice and the skins.

The grapes are then gently pressed to release the juice with minimal contact with the skins. This produces a clear juice to make a white wine.

Blanc de Noir LanguageBlanc de Noir translation Blanc de Noir Pronunciation
FrenchThe literal translation is “white from black”, meaning white wine from black grapes.BLAW DE NO-AR

Read with confidence: I am a certified wine expert (WSET L3).