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White Wine Grape Varieties and Wines




Grown in Italy to make the famous Tuscan dessert wine Vin Santo and famous Sicilian dessert wine, Malvasia delle Lipari.  When blended with Trebbiano it is used to make Frascati, a wine from the village of Frascati, located 15 miles north of Rome. In Portugal it is known as Malmsey and is used to make a sweet style of Madeira.

The workhorse grape of the northern Rhone in France.  Makes full-bodied, opulent wines of amazing complexity.  Often blended with roussane.

Muller Thurgau
Germany’s most widely planted grape.  Beleved to be a cross of two different clones of Riesling.  At its best can be crisp, fresh and aromatic

Another name for this wine is Melon de Bourgogne.  A dry, crisp white that is a classic pairing with raw oysters.  It is from the Loire Valley in France.

Called Moscato in Italy and is used to make Moscato d’Asti a light, slightly sweet sparkling wine from Piedmont in Italy.  The Muscat grape is juicy and aromatic, delicate and full of tropical fruit flavors and exotic aromas. In France it is used to make Muscat de Beaumes de Venice a delicious dessert wine.


Major grape of Spanish Sherry

Pedro Ximenez
Grown in the south of Spain.  Nickname is PX, it is the second most important grape for Sherry.

Pinot Blanc
Pinot Blanc generally makes good, not great wines.  They fit the bill when you need a soft, easy drinking wine.  There are a few excellent pinot blancs from the TreVenezie  in Italy and from Alsace, France. These pinot blancs are definitely worth trying. They are crisp, fruity and well balanced.  California and Oregon also make some nice pinot Blanc.

Pinot Gris
Depending on where it is grown Pinot Gris can taste strikingly different.  In northern Italy it is called Pinot Grigio and it is a crisp, dry, light wine.  There are a few producers that make a more intense Pinot Grigio though, such as Livio Felluga or Jermann.  The Pinot Gris from Alsace bears little resemblance to the Pinot Grigio of Italy.  It is majestic, intense, opulent, and sometimes spicy. It is a magnificent wine.  From Oregon, the Pinot Gris is also a full-bodied wine with flavors of pear and spice cake.  In California it is often called Pinot Grigio and is a light, dry wine, although some producers such a Mac Murray make an intense concentrated wine that resembles the Alsace version.

This grape produces a light, refreshing sparkling wine from the northeastern section of Italy called the Veneto. Great as an aperitif.


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