Making wine by blending white and red grapes is not as rare as you might think. Several of the world\u2019s most esteemed wines have been made this way for centuries. And some daring modern winemakers produce unusual, color-blended wines with vivid results.\r\n\r\nAmong the most common traditional color blends is Champagne, which generally combines Chardonnay, a white grape, with red Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier.\r\n\r\n\u201cRed and white components are needed to build Champagne because one grape will dominate the other for a few years, and then it will step back into a supporting role to enhance the other grapes,\u201d says Alice Paillard, whose family owns Champagne Bruno Paillard.\r\n\r\nEileen Crane, CEO and winemaker at Domaine Carneros in Napa, says that many sparkling wines feature red and white grapes.\r\n\r\n\u201cChardonnay adds structure and great ageability,\u201d she says. \u201cPinot Noir, on the other hand, adds roundness, softness and earlier drinkability. Of course, both grapes add a complex of fruitiness.\u201d\r\n\r\nEven white sparkling wines like blancs de noirs use red grapes, but winemakers quickly take the juice off the skins after they\u2019re crushed so it doesn\u2019t absorb red pigment. And some sparkling ros\u00e9s get their color when winemakers add a small amount of red wine to the cuv\u00e9e after fermentation.\r\n\r\nCh\u00e2teauneuf-du-Pape, another famously color-blended wine, features both red and white blends from multiple varieties.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cYou can use the white grapes in the red Ch\u00e2teauneuf-du-Pape wine, or you can make directly a white Ch\u00e2teauneuf-du-Pape,\u201d says V\u00e9ronique Maret of Domaine de la Charbonni\u00e8re. \u201cThis decision depends on different factors,\u201d and can theoretically wait until harvest.\r\n\r\nOne reason that Ch\u00e2teauneuf-du-Pape winemakers might do so is global warming.\r\n\r\n\u201cClimate change has led more Ch\u00e2teauneuf-du-Pape producers to consider adding white grapes in limited quantity to their red blends to improve the balance between acidity and alcohol,\u201d says Marie Cl\u00e9mentine Savey of the AOC Ch\u00e2teauneuf winegrowers\u2019 association.\r\n\r\n\u201cThose warmer conditions from May to September mean higher alcohol levels that\u202fcould threaten freshness in the glass,\u201d she says. \u201cIt is better to macerate and ferment both grapes together because it will make the blends cohesive\u2014stable chemical links between fragrances and for complexity\u2014and stop color from being adversely affected.\u201d\r\n\r\nOther traditional wines permitted to use color combinations include Chianti (but no longer Chianti Classico), Syrahs from Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and C\u00f4te R\u00f4tie, and many types of ros\u00e9s.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe can use both red and white grapes to produce ros\u00e9, which is fantastic to master a light color, and, from an aromatic point of view, this is the fireworks of combinations,\u201d says Ch\u00e2teau Gassier winemaker Guillaume Cordonis.\r\n\r\nThere are different methods and reasons to blend red and white grapes. Winemakers might blend or coferment white grapes with reds to add flavors or aroma, or to increase acidity to bolster ageability. White grapes can even help red grapes maintain a more stable hue.\r\n\r\nSeveral old-vine Zinfandels and Petite Sirahs in California were planted as field blends, including a small component of white grapes to add aroma and taste complexity.\r\n\r\n\u201cOne of our Petite Sirahs comes from a vineyard that has three white grapes: 3% Moscato and 1% each Gew\u00fcrztraminer and Burger,\u201d says Christophe Paubert, winemaker at Stags\u2019 Leap Winery. \u201cAromatically, the whites bring something to the party.\u201d\r\n\r\nAdditionally, Syrah producers in the Rh\u00f4ne Valley, Australia and California will often add a small amount of Viognier and coferment the grapes.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe found the addition of white grapes helps to soften varieties like Syrah, which might be prone to harsher tannins, especially in their youth, as well as finessing aromatic complexity, especially for varieties high in terpenes, like Viognier,\u201d says Nicole Rolet of Ch\u00eane Bleu in Southern France.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs with any blend, this also has the advantage of giving us more options to be able to rise to the challenges of a particular year,\u201d she says. \u201cFor instance, in cooler years, early-ripening Viognier can help to add alcohol and body to a leaner and more severe Syrah.\u201d\r\n\r\nOther winemakers don\u2019t need a reason to blend red and white grapes. They simply want to experiment and innovate.\r\n\r\nComet, an experimental line from Clemens Lageder, of Alois Lageder winery in Alto Adige, uses red and white grapes from a vineyard with more than 200 varieties. One bottling, called ZIE-XVIII, is a field blend of 60% white grapes and 40% red.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cLast year, we fermented everything together and made a white wine, not an orange wine, by using minimal skin time,\u201d says Lageder. \u201cIt has less body than a red, with great complexity and beautiful acidity. This year, we may make it into a red wine.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn California, Scott Sampler\u2019s Central Coast Group Project features a wine called Blood Orange. It\u2019s comprised of 75% Viognier and 25% leftover juice from Grenache, Syrah and Mourv\u00e8dre pressings.\r\n\r\n\u201cRight now, I\u2019m bottling a new line of wines dedicated to great thirst called Scotty-Boy!,\u201d says Sampler. \u201cOne of them is a \u2018blush\u2019 cuv\u00e9e of skin-fermented and barrel-fermented Chardonnay, with a dash of\u202fMourv\u00e8dre\u202ffor a little color, texture and extra flavor.\u201d\r\n\r\nFarther north at Sonoma Mountain Winery, Dan Marioni makes a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Chardonnay. \u201cIt gives the wine softer characteristics and can be bottled a bit sooner,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\nMeanwhile, at his namesake winery in Australia, Sam Vinciullo makes a wine that\u2019s 55% Shiraz and 45% Sauvignon Blanc. It\u2019s appropriately named Red/White.\r\n\r\nWhile these bottlings may be unusual, they seem to have found their audience. At press time, both Vinciullo\u2019s Red/White and Sampler\u2019s Blood Orange were sold out.