Untouched by Light – The World’s First Sparkling Wine Made, Sold & Tasted in Complete Darkness
23rd July 2019
A new sparkling wine brand called Untouched by Light, released by Radgonske Gorice this week, claims that best things happen in the dark. According to Professor Emerita Ann C. Noble, the exposure of wine to daylight or artificial lighting results in what is commonly known as light-struck aromas. It decreases the intensity of citrus aromas, but increases the intensity of cooked cabbage or wet dog aromas. For that reason, Radgonske Gorice made a bold decision to turn to the dark side and produce their new sparkling wine.
Untouched by Light is made from Chardonnay grapes picked at night and aged in the pitch darkness of a cave to be sold in (sun)lightproof bottles and preferably served in the dark. Although its fermentation began only a few months ago and the first bottles will not be made available before next year, Radgonske Gorice have already started taking pre-orders. Radgonske Gorice from Slovenia have a 166-year-long tradition of sparkling wine production. It was started in the era of Archduke John of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, who expanded the wine production in the Radgona region and cherished continuously even in the time when the wine cellars were owned by the Swiss-French Bouvier Family. The Winery Managing Director Borut Cvetkovič says:
”Untouched by Light is made from the selected Chardonnay grapes by using the famous inside-the-bottle French fermentation method. What makes this wine unique is its ageing process as Untouched by Light is left to age for two to three years in the caves of Radgona in Slovenia, untouched by the outside world – in the complete absence of light. In our jargon, it is known as a Crafted by Darkness method. We use night vision glasses during harvest, bottle rotation and packaging. Once out of the cave, the wine is protected in a black lightproof bottle packed in a vacuum-sealed bag blocking any additional light or air contact. I would strongly recommend that you taste this wine in pitch darkness in good company.” If you want to be among the first ones to see this sparkling wine come out of the dark, pre-orders are available at untouchedbylight.com.
 Noble, Ann C., Sensory study of the effect of fluorescent light on sparkling wine and its base wine, American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, Vol.40, No.4, 1989
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