January 17, 2007

Red Chardonnay?

By Andrew Barrow In Articles
What is the bloody point – why make a red Chardonnay? Especially as Chardonnay is a white grape and to get the colour you use Chambourcin grapes…

Hendersonville News

“We picked the Chambourcin (grapes) and pressed it then we picked the Chardonnay (grapes) and pressed it and then put the Chambourcin juice on the Chardonnay skin to get the (red) color,” Pack said. “Winemakers make white merlot (which is typically a red wine) by not leaving the juice on the skins. We just reverse that process to get the red Chardonnay…

Chardonnay Rosso is a response to market demand, he said. Combining the red and white (grapes) to make the Chardonnay gives it a “unique” taste that offers a new choice to wine drinkers, he said. “Another reason we made it is that most people are switching from white to red wines and we wanted to be in the middle of that,” Pack said. Multiple cases of the wine have already been sold as “futures,” he said. People want to buy the wine in advance because they are afraid it will sell out.”

  1. Cru Master January 18, 2007

    I agree with you, what the hell is the point.
    More pertinent is the reason they doing it: to follow trends and maintain sales – crisis how fickle can you be.
    May as well just add food colourants and start making all sorts of wonderfully colourful wines.
    Don’t mess with somthing that aint broke…

  2. Alfonso January 18, 2007

    freekin’ wierd man!
    years ago I sold a lot of red Chassagne Montrachet because folks thought it was something like that.
    That was before Sideways…go figure
    it takes all kinds and, it seems, they’re all here

  3. Andrew January 18, 2007

    A marketing gimmick pure and simple – certainly a point of difference though so I imagine short term at least sales will be good from curiosity value alone.

  4. Alvin Pack January 18, 2007

    Grow your own fun.

  5. Mike (Trig's dad) January 18, 2007

    I suspect you are going to say that this is completely different, but it’s only a few years ago that I was first introduced to red Sancerre, having been fond of Sancerre for 30 years and never having any idea that such a thing existed. Interested to know your thoughts on this wine.

  6. Andrew January 18, 2007

    ‘grow your own fun’ – what a positive addition to the discussion that is. Perhaps, more constructively, you could have explained the reasoning behind the decision, the response/reactions from others.. maybe even offered to supply some samples for interested parties to sample… a radical but ultimately more positive reaction than a ‘grow your own fun’ comment.

  7. Bill Davy January 19, 2007

    And if he put white grape juice on white skins (as he says he did), and produced a red wine, it beats the trick that bloke did at the wedding in Cana.
    Will the tannins from the Chambourcin skin give this wine the ability to mature over a longer period? What would an old Chardonnay taste like?
    Is it red or pink (blush)?
    For an article in a wine group, this was a bit disappointing.

  8. Erin January 19, 2007

    As a winemaker friend of mine glibly stated:
    “What were they thinking? I’ll tell you what they were thinking…what the hell are we going to do with this mound of chambourcin.”
    All it is really is a blush, and like the Arbor Mist-ers of the world, it has its place; but calling it red chardonnay makes me nauseous.

  9. Andrew January 19, 2007

    Sorry you thought the details are lacking Bill; the wine is new and yet to be released (if I read the newspaper article correctly). While the post was designed as a simple news/link post I have invited the producers to provide more details… fingers crossed and they will respond (as long as they haven’t taken too much umbrage at my slating their new ‘baby’).

  10. Rob H January 20, 2007

    “put the Chambourcin juice on the Chardonnay skin to get the (red)
    color,” I don’t think so!!! Perhaps they put the Chardonnay juice on
    the Chambourcin skin to get the color, I think the other way around
    would pose some problems that I’d like to see them get around!

  11. Jim March 8, 2007

    A red sancerre is a Pinot Noir. It is generally the law/custom in France to name the wine by place, not grape, with Alsace being the exception. As to the Rosso Chardonnay, good luck, bottle the Chambourcin by itself and sell it as a great Thanksgiving wine.

  12. Teressa April 2, 2007

    I came across this article by accident, but I am so glad I did. Not 2 weekends ago I had customers in my retail shop, telling me about someone in NC making red Chardonnay. Of course I was doubt founded, how I asked them? Since Chardonnay shins are light in color not red or purple. They could give no answer, but thought the respectable wine shop owner knew nothing about wine. This is going to confuse some people as much as “White Zinfandel”.


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