Can you make white wine from red grapes?
Yes, you can make white wine from red grapes. However, it’s not as simple as just crushing the grapes and fermenting them.
White wine can be made with a surprising variety of grapes, and the process is quite simple.
Read on to discover how to make white wine with red grapes!
Can You Make White Wine From Red Grapes?
To make white wine from red grapes, the skins and seeds must be removed before fermentation can begin.
Only the juice can be fermented to produce white wine. The flavor will be soft and fruity.
The skins and seeds of red grapes are what give red wine the color, flavor, and tannins that are characteristic of red wines.
White wines made from red grapes usually have a slight pink hue (think White Merlot) and are sometimes called “blush” wines.
They can also be made completely colorless by using a technique called “flash détente.”
This involves heating the grape juice to very high temperatures for a brief period, which breaks down the pigments.
So, there you have it – it is possible to make white wine from red grapes!
This is a surprisingly common type of wine because the wine gets a more fruity flavor than it would from white grapes.
Read our related article, Can You Make Red Wine Out of White Grapes? See if it works in the reverse in this wine guide!
What Are Red Wine Grapes?
Red wine grapes are, as the name suggests, grapes with red skins.
The red color can vary from a pale pink to a deep purple, and the flesh of the grape can be any color from white to black.
There are thousands of different varieties of red grapes, each with its unique flavor profile.
Some of the most popular types of red wine grape include:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Many of the world’s most popular white wines are made using red grapes.
The skin of the grape is what gives the wine its color, so by removing the skins before fermentation, you can get white or pink wine.
What is White Wine?
Nearly all white wine is made from the juice of white grapes because it yields a bright white wine without the need for additional steps to keep the product white.
White grapes also give white wine a uniquely delicate and dry finish that can be citrusy and herbaceous, a difficult quality to get from red grapes.
The skins of red grapes have pigment that can give a wine a pink or red tint, so if red wine grapes are used, then white wine is made without contact with the grape skins.
This can be done by pressing the grapes gently so as not to crush them and release their color, or by using a special type of crusher that removes the skins before crushing the grapes.
Limited contact with the skins produces a pink or rose-style wine with delicate fruit flavors.
How is White Wine Made?
The process of making white wine is similar to that of making red wine, with a few key differences.
- First, as mentioned above, the grapes must either be white grapes or red grapes with white flesh that are separated from the skins to avoid pigmentation.
- Second, white wine must be fermented at cooler temperatures than red wine, to preserve its delicate flavor.
- Finally, white wines are often aged in stainless steel barrels rather than oak barrels, to prevent them from picking up too much wood flavor.
Orange wine is made by leaving white wine grape skins and seeds in the maceration during fermentation.
The pigments are extracted from the seeds and skin making the wine a lovely orange color.
What Are Some Common Types of White Wine?
There are many different types of white wine, each with its unique flavor profile.
Some of the most common include:
- Chardonnay: A full-bodied white wine with rich, buttery flavors.
- Sauvignon Blanc: A crisp white wine with grassy and citrus flavors.
- Riesling: A sweet or dry white wine with floral and fruity aromas.
- Pinot Grigio: A light-bodied white wine with citrus and floral flavors.
Whether you’re a fan of red or white wine, there’s sure to be a type of white wine that you’ll enjoy!
So next time you’re in the mood for a glass of something refreshing, reach for a bottle of white.
Read More: Sauvignon Blanc vs Pinot Grigio. We compare these two whites to see how they measure up!
How is White Wine Made With Red Grapes?
The process of making white wine from red grapes is very similar to making white wine from white grapes.
The big difference is in the grape skins.
For red wines, the grape skins are left on during fermentation, which imparts color and tannins to the final product.
To make white wine from red grapes, the winemaker will remove the grape skins before fermentation begins.
This can be done by gently pressing the grapes or by using a machine called a rotor-stabilizer.
By removing the grape skins, the winemaker prevents any color or tannins from being imparted to the final wine.
The result is a crisp, refreshing white wine that still has all of the fruit flavors of the red grapes it was made from.
Champagne and several sparkling wines are made from red grapes using this process.
The Bottom Line
So, can you make white wine from red grapes? The answer is yes!
This is a common way for winemakers to get flavorful blends or uniquely flavored white wines – thanks to the fruitiness of red wine grapes.