Wine Word of the Week: Saignée

By Kori ~ December 21st, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is saignée.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Saignée is a French term meaning ‘bled’ for a winemaking technique which results in a rosé wine made by running off, or ‘bleeding’, a certain amount of free-fun juice from just-crushed dark-skinned grapes after a short, prefermentation maceration. The aim of this may be primarily to produce a lightly pink wine, or to increase the proportion of phenolics and flavor compounds to juice, thereby effecting a form of concentration of the red wine which results from fermentation of the rest of the juice with the skins. The second operation has often been undertaken by ambitious producers of both red bordeaux and red burgundy.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Saignée is a French word that means “bleeding the vats” during the red winemaking process in which some juice is removed from the must to concentrate the remaining wine. That free-run juice can be used to produce a rosé wine.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. Sanghamitra Ray | December 21st, 2010 at 7:27 am

    That’s informative.