Vin gris is white wine made from red grapes, in particular pinot noir. Pinot noir is a black grape, but can also be used to make rosé or white wine. When the grapes are brought to the winery and crushed, the juice is run off and removed from contact with the skin, leaving the colour and flavour compounds from the skin behind. The juice is then typically fermented in stainless steel tanks before being bottled shortly after, without any aging in oak barrels.
Producing a small volume of Vin gris (or rosé) can also be used as a technique to improve Pinot noir. Removing some clear juice increases the concentration of colour and flavour compounds from the skins in the remaining juice intended for making red wine; the resulting rosé is known as a saignée (bled).
Another grape used to produce Vin Gris is Gamay, particularly in Lorraine, where the Côtes de Toul zone produces a light and delighting Vin Gris. The vinification is the same as with Pinot Noir (short contact of the white juice with the red skins during the pressing), but the fruity flavour of the Gamay very much changes the taste of the wine.
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