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How Wine Gets Its Color

You open wine on a regular basis, drink it with friends at home, and order it at restaurants when you go out. But have you ever wondered why some red wines are darker than others, and why some whites are almost as light as water while others have a deep, creamy yellow tone in the glass? If you aren’t one of those that have gone down a deep Reddit hole to see how wine is made, we’ve got the perfect blog for you! We asked our talented winemaker, Mari Wells Coyle, to guest blog for us and break down the mystery of how wine gets its gorgeous color!  

Mari Wells Coyle

The difference between red and white wine grapes isn’t as simple as chocolate and vanilla. All grapes start to grow green. When the grapes start to mature, white varieties turn golden yellow and red varieties turn purple. This process is called veraison. But, the red grapes have clear juice inside…so how do the wines become deep red in color? White winemaking and red winemaking techniques are quite different, here’s how.

White Winemaking

We press the grapes and ferment the juice into a beautiful pale yellow colored wine. Pressing takes the skins away from the juice to make intense fruit flavored wines without the tannins from the skins. See the difference in color with our white wines here.

White Wine Grapes

Red Winemaking

We crush the grapes and ferment the ‘must’ (grapes and skins together). The skins color the wine into a deep purple red color and add tannins for depth and weight to the wine. Think chocolate here! Yum! Notice how a Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are so different in color? That’s because the longer the skins have contact with the juice, the deeper the color will be!

Red Wine Grapes

So what happens when you use a white winemaking technique with red wine grapes? Well, you get rosé. That was a trick question, but you get the idea right?

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about the winemaking process and how wines get their beautiful color!


Mari Wells Coyle

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