A Complete Guide to White Wine
Ranging from straw yellow to yellow gold, white wine is a combination of grape variety, winemaking methods, and residual sugar ratio. With white wine grapes being grown all around the world, there is an immense amount of information that can benefit wine lovers.
In this guide, you will read about popular white wines, grape growing locations, and the flavours white grape varieties can produce.
Addoraca, with its roots in Italy, is one of the white wine grape varieties used as a blending component in the famous dessert wine, “Passito”. Addoraca is combined with Coda di Volpe Bianca, Malvasia Bianca di Candia, and Malvasia bianca Di Candia in the dessert wine known as Moscato di Saracena, which is a speciality of Saracena village.
Addoraca is now exclusively planted in Cosenza, a part of Calabria.
While Chardonnay is very neutral in nature, it is notably acidic with flavours of green plum, apple, and pear. Many flavours associated with the grape are influenced by environmental conditions and the use of oak.
Being very versatile and an effortless growing wine grape, Chardonnay is the easiest way to succeed for new winemakers in the market. Chardonnay is a medium to light bodied wine with an average level of acidity. This green-skinned grape changes its flavour and aroma according to its growing region.
Areas with an adequate warm climate like parts of Australia and New Zealand grow more citrus flavoured Chardonnay grapes than the ones grown in areas of California. In these regions, Chardonnay adapts to flavours like mango and banana. Being one of the ruling grapes worldwide, Chardonnay is a vital component in almost every premium sparkling wine, including Champagne.
This high acidic white wine grape is very popular amongst wine lovers and was originally grown in the Loire Valley, France. Also known as “Pineau de la Loire”, this white skin grape can be used in making a variety of wine including sparkling wines, off-dry wines, and dessert wines. Chenin Blanc is the favourite wine grape of South Africa, where people also call it “Steen”. Chenin Blanc is a very balanced, neutral, variety of grape, with flavours of honeydew, ripe apple, pear, and lemon.
In colder regions, the juice is sweet but more acidic, whereas, in warmer areas like Swan Valley, this grape produces higher sugar content and a lower acidity level.
Dimyat is a blanc skinned Bulgarian grape, with mesmerising perfume aromas. Legends believe it to be originally a part of Nile Delta and later brought to Europe in the middle ages. Exclusively grown in Bulgaria, Dimyat is widely spread around the region of Shumen and Chirpan. Wines produced with Dimyat grapes are usually aromatic, sweet, and light bodied.
One of the most aromatic grape varieties, Gewürztraminer is also referred to as Gewurz, meaning a herb or spice. This white wine grape is a pink-skinned fruit with a high sugar level, originally grown in the Alsace region of France. Gewürztraminer consists of intense lychee flavours, and with age, produces floral notes and aromas of passion fruit and roses. It is usually off dry in nature. Gewurz white wine goes well with Asian Cuisine.
Primarily planted in Austria and the Czech Republic, Gruner Veltliner is a blanc skinned berry used to make some of the most famous variety of wines. It inculcates flavours of peach, citrus, apple, and rich minerals. These white wine grapes believed to be originally grown in northern Italy, show a variety of styles and aromas that help in creating majestic blended wines.
With flavours of white peaches, pears and marzipan, Marsanne white wine grape is the most important in the region of northern Rhone.
Other than France, this blanc skinned berry is also grown in parts of Switzerland and California. Marsanne is often the chief ingredient in some of the premium wines like Saint-Joseph AOCs and Hermitage. This is one of the wines that were blended with red wines, to increase the intensity. Marsanne is grown to produce both dry, steely wines, and sweet textured wines.
Muscat is not a single wine grape but a family of around 200 varieties of grapes, with tangy flavours. Originally grown in Vitis Vinifera, it is used to produce wine, table grapes and raisins. The colour of Muscat grapes can range from white to nearly black. They have a floral aroma with a high concentration of 40 diverse types of monoterpenes. Muscat grapes can be transformed into premium sparkling wines and dessert wines.
Pinot Blanc is a blanc skinned grape, originating from the genetic mutation of the wine grape known as Pinot noir. The wine produced from the Pinot Blanc grape is very like that of Chardonnay, but it is lighter and more elegant in nature. Areas of Germany, Italy, Czech, and Hungary produce full-bodied Pinot Blanc wine. It is believed that when Pinot Blanc is left in a stainless-steel container, its taste is the best.
Pinot Gris, also known as Grauburgender, is a variety of white wine grape. It is a rose skinned grape with intense flavours of fresh pear, citrus, and melon. If you love combining your food with wine, Pinot Gris is a great choice for you. Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio produces peppy and light wines that enhance the taste of your dinner. However, the wine produced by Pinot Gris in California is medium bodied, and the ones made in Washington are more tart and intense.
Riesling is high in flavours of citrus, apricot, green apple, honeysuckle, and peach. Riesling is a white wine grape originally grown in the Rhine region in Germany. With flowery perfumed aromas, Riesling grape is used to make high acidic dry, sweet, medium-sweet, and sparkling wines all over the world. Seldom oaked, this blanc coloured grape is usually pure. It is one of the world’s most grown varieties of white wine grape.
Riesling white wines are better consumed at an early age because of their aromatic and fruity characteristic. They have aromas of rose blossom, green grass, grapefruit, and peach.
With its origin in the Rhone region of France, Roussanne is grown throughout southern France. The Roussanne white wine grape produces a full-bodied wine, mostly partnered with Marsanne grape. The most common flavours associated with Roussanne are stone fruits, lime, and citrus. This grape variety prefers a long growing season but should be harvested prior to reaching elevated levels of alcohol.
Sauvignon Blanc is said to have originated in the region of Bordeaux, France. It is a green-skinned grape variety with flavours of herb, grass, peach, citrus, and pineapple. This grape produces fresh, dry, and brittle varietal wine around the world. It is also useful in the production of dessert wines. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular wine grapes grown in nearly all wine plantation regions, including France, Australia, New Zealand, California, Canada, and Washington.
A golden skinned grape, Semillon is one of the best dry and sweet wine making grapes. Semillon is mostly found in the wine growing regions of Australia and France. However, initially, it was grown in the region of Bordeaux. With soft earthy aromas like grass, Semillon consists of melon, herb and fig flavours.
This variety of grape has a low acidic level, yet it is said to be the chief ingredient in some of the premium dessert wines. Semillon wines are good when young but great with age. With added layers of herbs and spices, Semillon can do wonders in wine production.
Viognier is one of the most aromatic grapes, which when fully ripened, spreads the aroma of citrus rind, peaches, and apricots. Viognier is found in the regions of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Rhone Valley of France. Though they are difficult to convert into wine, due to their bitter components, Viognier is one of the chief ingredients in the blending process of many premium wines like Syrah.
Which is your favourite white wine?
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