White Grape Varieties

CHARDONNAY – wine is the largest selling white wine. It makes a dry and fruity white wine with good bouquet. At good sugar levels the variety may be low in acid so a little blending with a high acid white is recommended. It is a great wine for aging in oak barrels.

CHENIN BLANC – is the most versatile grape variety. It is capable of producing some of the finest sweet wines, a pleasant dry varietal and a basis for many sparkling wines. It has good acid. A blend with a little Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is excellent.

FRENCH COLUMBARD – makes a neutral flavored light white wine that can be made into a varietal because of its high acid. That high acid makes it a good blender

MALAGA – is a late maturing grape with medium sugar and low acid. It makes a dry, light wine. It should be blended for balance.

MALVASIA BIANCA – makes a tangy wine with a real substance and character. It has a slight Muscat flavor. As a varietal, a little sweetness is desired. It is great blended with Muscat Canelli, Palomino, or Trebbiano.

MUSCAT (OF ALEXANDER) – is the common Muscat grape that is readily available. It makes a strong wine, sometimes sweet, with a strong Muscat bouquet and flavor.

MUSCAT CANELLI – makes a wine with a concentration of fine Muscat grape flavor, light in body with a nice bouquet. It can be a dry, but you will enjoy the wine a lot more, if it is made slightly sweet. In Italy it is used as the basis for Asti Spumante.

PALOMINO is a grape that is usually low in sugar and acid. Since the wine can oxidize easily, the Palomino is used quite often to make sherry. For dry wines it is a good blender for other varieties that have high sugar and acid.

PINOT GRIGIO – grapes are grayish blue to brownish pink. They produce a very light, crisp, white wine with mild flavors that is getting very popular worldwide.

SAUVIGNON BLANC – makes both a great dry and sweet varietal wine. It is light and racy with a piercing, easily recognizable, aroma. It is a great blender with Semillon and Chenin Blanc.

THOMPSON SEEDLESS – grapes are mainly used for raisins or table grapes. For wine making it should be blended with other white varieties. It can be blended with red varieties to make a Rose.

UGNI BLAND-ST. EMELION-TREBBIANO – grapes are planted world wide so extensively that it probably produces more wine than any other grape. As a varietal, its wine is light, white, and crisp, with good acid but not much flavor. It is a very good blender.

VIOGNIER – makes a floral and spicy white wine, medium to full-bodied and very fruity. The wine has deep yellow color and is low in acid. It should be made as a varietal. It can be drunk at a very young age.