White grape varieties
From Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc
Have you always wanted to know everything about white wine? Here you will find the most important facts at a glance. White wine is produced by the fermentation of grapes. You might think that only yellow to green grapes are used for white wine, but this is not true. Red and even black grapes can also be used. In the production of white wine, the juice of the grapes is pressed early, which prevents the skin of the grapes from colouring the wine. This is because the colour pigments are found almost exclusively in the grape skin.
The main grape varieties used in the production of white wines are those listed below:
- Muscat: This is a whole family of grape varieties, but the most popular among them is the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. What characterizes this family of grape varieties is its fruity aroma (grapefruit, musk, table grapes, etc.). It is infact the only variety that actually gives wines with grape aromas. It is mainly found in Alsace, Italy, Australia...
- Riesling: Depending on its terroir, it can give different types of wine. Riesling has a strong perfume. The main aromas are lemon, cinnamon, kerosene, linden... It is mainly found in Alsace and Germany where it is considered the noblest grape variety, in Australia, Canada and USA.
- Sauvignon Blanc: It is a grape variety cultivated worldwide. Some of the well known white wines in the world (Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé) are made with this variety. It has aromas of herbs, green fruits, mint and apple.
- Gewürztraminer: It is a grape variety that is distinguished by its strong aromaticity. One can distinguish pineapple, lychee, nutmeg and rose aromas. It is found in Alsace, Austria, Germany, and Canada.
- Chardonnay: It is the grape variety of reference in the manufacture of dry white wines. It has several aromas: peach, butter, citrus, lychee, and pear, depending where it is grown. Throughout the world, the white wines of Burgundy are a reference. This grape variety is also found in South Africa, Canada, Australia, Italy and many other countries.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WHITE WINES
Sweet wines: Sweet wines are wines with a lower sugar content than sweet botrytized wines. They are made from late harvested grapes.
Botrytized sweet wines: These are wines with a high sugar content, more than 40 g/L. A fungus called Botrytis Cinerea causes noble rot to appear on the grapes, which will concentrate the sugars and aromas of the ripe grapes. The most famous sweet wine in the world, Sauternes, is produced this way.
Fruity dry white wines: Dry white wines are dry wines with pronounced fruit aromas. We can take the example of the Alsatian Gewürztraminer.
Powerful dry white wines: These are dry white wines matured in oak barrels. The taste is intense with aromas of sweet spices and toasted notes.
Light dry whites: These are lighter and more delicate wines with a fine citrus aroma.
SOME OF THESE WHITE WINES
From sparkling wine to dessert wine, dry wines and sweet wines
The good thing about white wine is that there's one for every taste. In addition to dry, semi-dry and sweet wines, there are also sparkling wines for wine lovers. A true wine paradise.
Among the sparkling wines are the world-famous Champagne, Prosecco, Spanish Cava, German Sekt, and so on. The dry white wines have a low residual sugar content, while the dessert wines have a particularly high residual sugar content.
Discover our selection of dry white wines from France, Italy, Spain, Austria, but also from New Zealand, Chile and Australia... From fruity, light and lively, racy and full-bodied to very aromatic.
FOOD AND WHITE WINE PAIRING
Because of the different styles, it is important to always pair the right white wine with your meal. Light and crispy white wines go well with fish and seafood. Dessert wines not only go well with delicious desserts but also pair wonderfully with cheese. White wine is also appreciated by all chefs as a flavour enhancer.