: History

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

History in medieval France, most red wine was the result of a short fermentation, usually of no more than one or two days. The short period of contact with the grape skins meant that the resultant wines were pale in colour, and were probably very similar to the rosés of today. Such wines exported from Bordeaux were known as vinum clarum, vin clar, or clairet, and it is from the last of these that the English term claret is derived. Other much darker wines were also made by pressing the remaining skins, effectively the same as modern press wine, and these were known as vinum rubeum purum, bin vermelh, or pinpin.