Vermentino

Vermentino is an Italian grape variety originating in the triangle between Liguria, Tuscany and Sardinia. It found it’s way to France as well, where it is called Rolle and often blended in their rose wines, to add a fresh floral character. It produces good value wines, but very few are truly premium.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Green apples and lemons, white flowers Yellow apples and yellow pears, white flowers, jasmine Pineapple, white flowers, jasmine
Acidity Medium+ Medium Medium
Alcohol Medium- Medium Medium+
Body Medium+ Medium+ Full
Tannin N/A N/A N/A
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a white grape common in the Loire Valley of France. It’s versatile and can produce dry, off-dry, sparkling and sweet dessert wines. Also known as “Steen” in South Africa, wines made from Chenin Blanc typically exhibit floral aromas, apple and pear-like flavours and assertive acidity. In the best examples, wines exhibit a smooth silky texture, that really gives away the grape.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Lemon Drop, Jasmine Ripe Apple, Pear N/A
Acidity High Medium+ N/A
Alcohol Low Medium- N/A
Body Light Medium- N/A
Tannin N/A N/A N/A
Sugar Dry / Off-Dry / Sweet Dry / Off-Dry / Sweet N/A

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Riesling

In flavour, Riesling ranges from dry and stony to floral and sweet, much like Chenin Blanc. The sweetest versions can age for decades. The greatest Rieslings are the German wines of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheinhessen and
Rheingau; close behind are those of Alsace. Washington, New York and Australia can lay claim to making the best examples of Riesling outside of Europe, from bone dry Rieslings that marry beautifully with shellfish and Pacific Rim dishes, to sharply-etched, achingly-sweet late harvest Rieslings and ice wines.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Citrus, Green Apple Peach, Apricot N/A
Acidity High High N/A
Alcohol Low Low N/A
Body Light Medium- N/A
Tannin N/A N/A N/A
Sugar Dry / Off-Dry / Sweet Dry / Off-Dry / Sweet N/A

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Viognier

Viognier is intensely aromatic and when perfectly ripened, smells of apricots, peaches and citrus rind. It’s a difficult wine to make, as it can be quite bitter and austere when not quite ripe and turn flabby and hot when overripe. Excellent wines using this grape that are made in Washington, California, Rhone and Australia tend toward the ripe, hot, peachy styles. Viognier is also blended and/or co-fermented with the red
Syrah, adding wonderful high notes of citrus and flower to the finished red wine. The most famous examples of this come from the Northern Rhone in Cote-Rotie.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours N/A Peaches, Apricots Peaches, Apricot Jam
Acidity N/A Medium- Low
Alcohol N/A Medium- Medium
Body N/A Medium+ Full
Tannin N/A N/A N/A
Sugar N/A Dry / Off-Dry / Sweet Dry / Off-Dry

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Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc grows well in widely diverse areas, but excels in the Loire Valley, where it sports an aggressively herbaceous, grassy pungency, which combines with the bracing acids and stony minerality of the soils. It has become the benchmark white wine of New Zealand, where the intensity of the green citrus and berry fruit flavours is predominant. In California, it is made in a wide range of styles, but often ripened and barrel-fermented to taste like a peachy, tropical Chardonnay. Late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, often blended with Sémillon, makes some of the greatest sweet wines in the world, most notably Sauternes.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Grass, Citrus, Gooseberry Passion Fruit, Gooseberry Passion Fruit
Acidity High High Medium+
Alcohol Low Medium- Medium
Body Light Medium- Medium
Tannin N/A N/A N/A
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Chardonnay

Versatile and popular, Chardonnay grows all over the world. It reaches its mineral-laced pinnacle in Burgundy, ripens to tropical richness in California and Australia, and takes very well to new oak. It picks up buttery aromas from malolactic fermentation, and toasty or vanilla scents from aging in new barrels. By itself, young Chardonnay is most likely to recall fresh green apples in both smell and flavour. Depending upon the winemaker, it can be made to be crisp and stony, buttery and toasty, or brilliantly fresh with green apple and citrus flavours.

Cool ClimateModerate ClimateWarm Climate
Distinctive FlavoursGreen apples and lemonsYellow apples and yellow pearsPineapple
AcidityMedium+MediumMedium
AlcoholMedium-MediumMedium+
BodyMedium+Medium+Full
TanninN/AN/AN/A
SugarDryDryDry

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