Pinot Noir is a black-skinned grape that can give white wines

Pinot Noir is a black-skinned grape that is typically used to produce red wines. However, when the grapes are pressed and quickly separated from the skins (the contact phase between the juice and the skin giving color to the must) this gives a white juice which can be used as a base (alone or in blends) to make sparkling wines. White sparkling wines made exclusively from black grapes are called ‘Blanc de Noirs’ when white sparkling wines made exclusively from white grapes are called ‘Blanc de Blancs’.

Pinot Noir is an early budding and early maturing variety that is suitable for cool climates. Since most sparkling wines are produced in regions with cool climates (which allows the acidity of the grapes to be retained, perfectly complements the bubbles and gives the finished wine a greater aging capacity) this makes it a perfect grape for producing this kind of wines.

Admittedly, the yields of Pinot Noir are more moderate than those of Chardonnay. Admittedly, the thin skin of its grapes makes it more at risk of various vine diseases (mildew, powdery mildew, botrytis, etc.). Admittedly, Pinot Noir is a very demanding variety for the winegrowers who produce it; but, Pinot Noir gives a lot of depth to sparkling wines both in terms of color and in terms of aromatic palette (different fruit expressions and different response to aging on lees).

Finally, Pinot Noir has a certain international reputation since it is planted in most wine regions of the world (including Burgundy where it originates and where it produces some of the most prestigious wines in the world). Also, it is a grape variety known and recognized by consumers around the world. Consequently it acts as a brand in its own right, helping them to make purchasing and consumption decisions.

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