Wine’s Unsung Hero: Grape Skins - Keenan Winery
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Wine’s Unsung Hero: Grape Skins

Much more than just the external layer of a grape, the skins influence everything from flavor to color. Here are a few fun facts about grape skins and just what they do!

Add Color

If it weren’t for grape skins, all wines would be white. Why? All varietals’ juice is more or less the same hue, a light yellowish green. Its contact with the skin is what provides the variety of pigments we find bottled on cellar walls.

In fact, white wines can be made, and are, from red grapes. Once the grapes are crushed, the skins are simply removed so that the anthocyanin in the skin (the same pigment responsible for making purple cabbage…purple) don’t have time to seep into the grape juice.

Apart from the color, skins also…

Build Flavor & Longevity

Tannins, found in the grape skin, not only give wine a bitter taste (or red wines astringency) but they also help give wines body and the ability to age. That heavy, mouth-filling feeling of an aged wine? Tannins.

The use of grape skins is a delicate balance of timing, exposure and a little bit of good harvest luck.


If you have any questions, shoot us a message or give us a call. Otherwise…is all this wine talk making anyone else thirsty? If so, why not gift yourself the perfect wine to unwind?

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