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White Grapes

White Grapes

White Grapes

White Grapes

Since white wine grapes are planted in so many areas all over the world, there is a lot of white wine information to learn about. However, you'll most likely encounter only a handful of these grapes. Here we have listed the most known white wine grapes, for a quick introduction to white wine grapes.

Albariño/ Alvarino

Albariño is a low yielding high-quality white wine grape grown in Portugal and Spain. Since the grapes are so thick skinned, only a small amount of juice can be extracted from them. With the extracted juice creamy, rich wines with complex flavors of apricots, peaches and citrus can be produced. Albariño wines are some of the most expensive wines in Portugal and Spain.

Chardonnay

Known as the most popular white wine grape, it‘s grown in every wine producing region. The original fame of Chardonnay comes from its success in the Burgundy, Champagne regions of France, California and Australia. Chardonnay is capable of a wide variety depending on where it is grown. Wines made from the Chardonnay grape are usually served chilled. Generally, the wines produced from Chardonnay are full-bodied white wine with pear, apple and tropical or citrus fruit flavors. Chardonnay matches very well with chicken and with dishes that are served with a lot of butter or a cream sauce. Most Chardonnays lack the acid to match as well with seafood as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling.

Chasselas

A very ancient white wine grape that is grown in Switzerland and in small sections of France, Germany and Italy. As one of the oldest grape varieties it is speculated that it originated from the Middel East.It makes wines that have aromas of citrus fruits and peaches. Wine produced from the Chasselas grape has a pale to light straw yellow color. The taste sometimes has quite a mineral character, can have floral or fruity notes, but retains a crisp light feel with the occasional little bubble or two. Chasselas is anything but a heavy ’intoxicating’ wine, so it is well-suited as an aperitif, and its tartness makes it a good balance for cheese dishes like fondue or raclette.

Chenin Blanc

The Chenin Blanc is a white grape that is commonly grown in the Loire Valley of France, South Africa and California. It boasts fruit flavors of melon, pear and peach with alluring floral aromas and a lovely crispness.This grape variety can make wines that range from dry to very sweet and tend to age very well. In some regions, Chenin Blanc is used to make sparkling wines of notable quality. It is the most planted grape in South Africa where its local name is Steen. Chenin Blanc is a high volume producer so the wines it produces tend to be fairly inexpensive

Furmint

This white wine grape is mostly kown for its contribution to the delicious , sweet wines of Hungary. The thin skin makes it susceptible to a type of fungus called Botrytis, which creates a rich sweet Tokay wines. The Furmint grape also produces a strong, high alcoholic dry wine. This variety is available in Hungary and the rest of Eastern Europe.

Garganega

This wine grape is the principal variety in Italy's Soave wines. Grown in the Veneto region in Italy and Lombardy, this grape can produce delectable, elegant wines that carries the grapes notable almond character

Gewürztraminer

This grape variety translates to “spicy grape” with loads of exotic, spicy fruit flavors including lychee, citrus and peach. It's name sounds like it would be a German grape, but it's actually mostly grown in France. However, it is also somewhat grown in United States, Germany and New Zealand. Gewürztraminer is often paired with spicy foods and can be made in styles that range from completely dry to semi-dry. It can also produce top-notch late harvest dessert wines.

Grüner Veltliner

Grown in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, this white wine grape produces a pale, crisp, light to medium bodied, slightly spicy wines of good to very good quality. Similar to Riesling, it is rarely blended with other grapes as the distinctive, powerful characteristics are best showcased alone.

Malvasia

Malvasia is primarily a white wine grape, but it has many known subvarieties, including red version called Malvasia Nera. The red variety is grown in Italy around Piedmont and Puglia. It produces perfumy wines and lends a delightful fragrance to some italian red wines. It is made into a variety of finished wines, dry, sweet, fortified and sparkling.

Marsanne

This white wine grape dominates the northern Rhône. Also known as Grosse Roussette, The Swiss call it Ermitage Blanc and the Spanish call it Marsana.It produces big, full-bodied dry whites with relatively high alcohol and loads of fruit and apricot flavors. It paires well with veal, pork or turkey. It is also known as Grosse Roussette, Ermitage Blanc and Marsana.

Müller-Thurgau

Widely known as a combination of the Riesling and the Sylvaner grape this white grape is the most cultivated grape in Germany. It produces a smooth, low-acid medium sweet wines with a hint of muscat character.

Muscadet

This lovely white grape produces a zesty and crisp white wines in the Atlantic end of the Loire Valley. These dry wines possess wonderfull citrus fruit flavors with hints of mineral.The crispness creates a lovely wine suited to drink on it's own or paired with shellfish

Muscat

This grape family has hundreds of varieties ranging from white to almost black. Muscat grapes can be grown in temperate climates around the world in Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Australia and California. Its wines are notable for their musky, fresh grape flavors and range from fine, light whites to sweet, dark versions.

Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc is a white grape varietal that does best in the cooler climate of Alsace. It produces dry white wines with apple, pear and tropical fruit flavors. Pinot Blanc is relatively low in acidity. Because of the similar wines they make, Pinot Blanc is usually mistaken for Chardonnay. Wines produced from this grape must be consumed young before the fruit flavors diminish.

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

Grown in many parts of the world, it is most famous in Alsace in France. Currently the most popular white wine grape in Italy, this white grape makes wines that are medium bodied, well balanced, with nice floral aromas and fruit flavors of pear and apple with hints of lemon and mineral. Pinot Grigio is best match with shellfish, Chicken and other white meats. Pinot Gris from Alsace is a full bodied round wine with residula sweetness. The Pinot Grigio in Italy is generally dry and lighter bodied.

Prosecco

A white wine grape that is grown primarily in the eastern part of Italy's Veneto region. The prosecco grape can be made into lightly sparkling, fully sparkling and still wines. The wines are crisp and appley and though they can be sweet, are more often found dry.

Riesling

Considered as one of the 'noble' grape varieties for wine making, it produces a variety of extraordinary elegant white wines.It is widely planted in Germany and Alsace, France. The German varieties vary from lighter, drier wines to super sweet wines. In Alsace they tend to be drier fuller, except for the late harvested versions. Overall the wines show fresh fruit flavors and a zesty character. Riesling does best in cool climates and is very resistant to frost. In the right circumstances, some of the finest sweet wines in the world can be made from Riesling.

Roussanne

This grape is cultivated in the Rhône wine region of France. When ripe, the grape tends to turn this reddish brown color. In warm climates, it produces wines of richness, with flavors of honey and pear. If cultivated in cooler climates, the resulting wines are more floral with high acidity.

Sauvignon Blanc

The Sauvignon Blanc grape is a dry white wine grape that produces flavors of citrus fruit, melon, fig, herb, and occasionally grassiness. It performs well in the in the Loire river and Bordeaux regions of France. In the U.S. it is often known as Fume Blanc while New Zealand is having notable success with the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with small amounts of another white grape, Semillon, in order to 'round-out' the taste of the wine. Sauvignon Blanc is especially good when served with seafood.

Scheurebe

Scheurebe is the most most widely planted in Germany's Rheinhessen and Rhenpfalz region. If produced at the peak of the grape's ripeness, the wines posses a rich aroma of blackcurrants. The drier versions are more dominated by grapefruit aromas. The most popular Scheurebe wines are more sweeter with instense aromas of blood grape and honey.

Semillon

Semillon is planted around in Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, South Africa and the United States. It produces wines with good extract and texture but may lack aromas. It is frequently combined with Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc adds the missing acidity and the aromas while the Semillon tempers Sauvignon Blanc's tendency towards grassiness.

Sylvaner

Sylvaner or Silvaner is a variety of white wine grape grown primarily in Alsace and Germany, where its official name is Grüner Silvaner. In Germany it is best known as a component of Liebfraumilch, which is a style of semi-sweet white German wine. Sylvaner can produce elegant acidic wines.. It is often blended with other varieties such as Riesling or Elbling, and is sometimes made into a dessert wine.

Tocai Friulano

A white wine grape that is widely grown in Italy. When perfectly pruned, this grape can produce elegant and lively, full bodied wines. The wine produced is pale yellow and with tones of wildflowers and pears, intermingled with flavours of herbs and citrus. Very nicely balanced acidity heightens the flavors and gives it a long, clean finish. Tocai Friulano is the most planted and consumed wine in the Friula region.

Torrontes

A favorite in Argentina and Uruguay, the Torrontes grape is thought to be related to the crisp, aromatic white wines of northwest Spain. Wines made from this grape have concentrated, grapey fruit flavors with good balancing acidity and hints of flowers and spices.

Trebbiano

A very important white-wine grape because it is so extensively planted. The Trebbiano grape is most often blended with varieties exhibiting more dominant traints. Originating in Central Italy, Trebbiano spread throughout the country and across the border to become France's most important white variety called Ugni Blanc.
 

Verdejo

Grown in and indigenous to Spain's Rueda region. It is also cultivated in the neighbouring regions of Toro and Ribera del Duero. Verdejo produces full-bodied, yet crisp wine with a rich, nutty flavor. The Verdejo grapes are generally harvested at night. Verdejo wines are aromatic, often soft and full-bodied.

Verdelho

Verdelho is a white wine grape grown throughout Portugal, though most associated with the island of Madeira, and also gives its name to one of the four main types of Madeira wine. At the turn of the 20th century it was the most widely planted white grape in Madeira. The table wine produced from Verdelho tend to be tart and lemony, crisp and refreshing, with relatively good body. The character can vary from herbaceous, when grown in cooler vineyards or picked earlier, to tropical fruit, when coming from warmer vineyards or picked fully mature.

Verdicchio

Mainly grown in the Marches region in Italy, the wine grape has a yellow-green skin, which gives the wine a subtle greenish hue. The grape is rapid growing and highly acidic. The wines are generally crisp and dry, with a light but elegant aroma and flavor. It is best consumed within the first two years from the vintage. Most bottlings of Verdicchio allow up to 15 percent of other grapes to be blended in. Only two grapes are premitted to be blended with this grape, Trebbiano and Malvasia.

Vermentino

The Vermentino variety can be found under fairly intensive cultivation in nearly all the Mediterranean coastal districts from Spain to Liguria and on the two major island semi-enclosed by the arc, Corsica and Sardinia. It is also grown in small areas on the island of Madeira and at some places in the southern France where it is known as Rolle

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

A white wine grape grown in Italy's Tuscany region. The wines produced from this variety vary tremendously.Traditionaly made, they are golden in color, rich and full-bodied. More modern winemaking techniques produce paler-colored wines with crisper, lighter characteristics.

Viognier

The Viognier grape is currently experiencing resurgence in popularity, thanks to the Rhône Rangers of California. In addition to this area, Viognier is also planted in France and Washington State. It makes fruity wines of medium body, in which peach and apricot aromas are often found along with a bit of spice. This wine grape produces wine ranging from exquisite to ordinary. Wine produced from this grape is best matched with Asian cuisine as well as white meats, seafood and mild cheeses.

Xarel-lo

Xarel- lo is a white grape grown extensively in the Catalonia region of Spain. Together with Macabeu and Parellada, it is one of the three main varieties used to make the Spanish wine Cava. It is considered a medium to low quality grape, used mainly to add body. Xarel-lo is very productive and retains medium to high levels of acidity. In Catalonia it is used to make still wines that are crisp and fresh, with notes of stone fruits and cream.