This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.
Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.
In France, Savignon Blanc finds its greatest expression at the eastern end of the Liore Valley, at Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, but this is matched in New Zealand, particularly in the Marlborough district. The New Zealand style -all the rage today- offers a stunning combination of zesty fruit and rich melon undertones which burst into action as soon as the cork is drawn, or indeed the cap os loosened.
In Bordeaux, a few chateaux, such as La Mission Haut-Brion and Domaine de Chavalier, lavish attention on Sauvignon, carefully blending it with Semillon and ageing the blend on oak. These rich, lanolin-textured wines are allowed to age for decades, but most Sauvignon Blanc are consumed as young wines. Sauvignon Blanc can plau an extremely important supporting role to Semillon, in both dry and sweet wines. This is particularly the case in Bordeaux, as Semillon, naturally low in acidity, gains a fresh and youthful attribute from its presence.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape is grown in the Loire and St Bris in France, New Zealand, USA, Western and South Australia, South Africa and Chile.
Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California.
The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.
Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.
An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.
This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.