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    Champagne 101: Blanc de Blancs & Blanc de Noirs – What’s the difference? | Watson's Wine

    Champagne 101: Blanc de Blancs & Blanc de Noirs – What’s the difference?

    With its clear and golden colour, must Champagne made merely from white grape varieties? The answer is of course “No”.  In fact, the 3 major grape varieties used in Champagne production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. The former is white while the latter two are both black! In Champagne, the terms Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs designate Champagnes by the colour of the grapes used in winemaking.

    1. Blanc de Blancs Champagne

    Blanc de Blancs Champagne
    Photo Credit to: Perrier Jouet

    Translated as “white from whites”, Blanc de Blancs is made exclusively from white grapes, most commonly 100% Chardonnay which thrives in the Southern of Champagne such as the Cote des Blancs because of their unique predominately chalky soil composition. Blanc de Blancs offers a refreshing palate filled with citrus aromas and finishes with a delicate minerality. The perfect pairing with it is seafood, particularly oysters or sushi.

    2. Blanc de Noirs Champagne

    Whereas the “white from blacks”, Blanc de Noirs are made from one or multiple black-skinned grapes, such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. In Champagne, these two grape varieties are mainly grown in the Vallee de la Marne and Montagne de Reims.

    Some people may wonder how a Champagne that looks so “white” can be made from dark-skinned grapes. In fact, the vast majority of Champagne is made from a combination of black-skinned grapes and light-skinned grapes. By pressing them gently and not squeezing the pigments out of the skins, the juice can remain clear. Compared to Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs generally have a fuller body and display aromas and flavours of red fruits.

    Blanc de Noirs Champagne