2 Which grapes make the various white wine types, where are they grown, and what are their differences?The flavor, characteristics, and types of white wine can vary widely and is largely dependent upon the white grape variety used in its making.
4 1. ChardonnayThe most widely used type of white wine grape and is easily considered to be “Queen” of the white grapes.Regions:The Chardonnay grapevine can grow under a variety of conditions, which means that it is grown in many wine producing regions.
5 2. Chenin BlancAn acidic grape that is used best in making sweet, aged wines as is done in the Anjou Valley of France.Known as “Steen” in South Africa; other names for it are Pinot Blanco or White Pinot.Regions:Originated thousands of years ago in France’s Loire Valley and continues to be cultivated there today. Plants are also grown in California (used in jug wines), Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
6 3. GewurztraminerBest described as one of the world’s most intensely flavored and aromatic grapes creating wine that ranges in taste from spicy (Gewurztraminer literally translated means spicy) and nutty to peachy and floral.The grapes are usually used to make either a very sweet wine or a very dry wine, both with bold flavors and crisp acidity.Regions:Primarily cultivated in Germany and France’s Alsace region, but it is also grown in Italy, Australia, Canada, and in New York and California in the United States.
7 4. Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris) Typically produce a wine that is quite light-bodied with a lemon or other citrus aroma and flavor, but its acidity varies by growing region.Regions:The Pinot Grigio grape is cultivated extensively in Northern Italy, Germany, Australia, and the west coast regions of the United States, i.e., California, Oregon and Washington State.In comparison to Chardonnay types of white wine, a Pinot Grigio is significantly lighter.
8 5. RieslingProduce a fresh wine with hints of apples, apricots, and flowers and mid- to high-acidity.Riesling types of white wine are sometimes sweet dessert wines but they are just as often crisp, dry and fruity wines from grapes that have been left to mature longer on the vine.Regions:The Riesling grape is native to Germany where it is used to make the classic sweet Rhine wine, but it is also grown in nearly all wine regions.
9 6. Sauvignon Blanc (aka Fumé Blanc) Typically produce a light, tangy wine with grassy, sour apple and tropical fruit flavors having a crisp, light- to medium-acidity.Regions:The Sauvignon Blanc grape is primarily cultivated in France’s Bordeaux region where it is blended with Semillon grapes. It’s also grown in the Loire Valley of France, as well as in California, Australia, and New Zealand.
10 7. SemillonHas a distinctly figgy, grassy flavor and it is rarely used in the making of a stand-alone wine. The unripe grape is often blended with other grapes, such as Sauvignon Blanc to help balance out the strong Semillon flavors.Regions:Semillon is grown in the Bordeaux region of France, as well as in Chile, Australia, Argentina, and California.
11 8. ViognierProduces a complex, medium-body, low- to medium-acidity wine with flavors and aromas that hint of apricots, peaches, and spice, but without the floral aromas found in other types of white wine.Regions:The Viognier grape originated in the Rhone Valley of France and continues to thrive there today. This varietal is also grown in California, South America and Australia.
12 9. Moscato (aka Muscat and Muscatel) An extremely grapey flavored grape that is used to make fruity, sweet, dessert wines that carry a hint of musk. Its aroma is often that of the grape itself.Regions:The Moscato grape is grown in most grapevine growing regions, including Italy, France (the Rhone Valley), and Austria.
13 10. Pinot BlancA mutation of the Pinot Grigio grape that produces a very light wine. It makes a white wine that is very similar in flavor to a Chardonnay.Regions:The Pinot Blanc grape is cultivated in Alsace (Italy), in Austria where it's referred to as Weissburgunder, and in California where it is used to make sparkling wines.
14 If you are looking for a lighter, refreshing taste, go for the white wine!
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