Innumerable vineyards throughout Europe have been producing wine for centuries. Such countries as the United States, Argentina, Chile, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are now producers of various varieties of wine, as well. In the United States, small, local vineyards that often grow white grapes have become quite popular, adding to wine drinkers’ pleasure and variety.
There are 20 varieties of white grapes that are grown for the production of wine. Traditionally, white wines have come from France, Germany, Portugal, and Italy. But, countries such as Australia and the United States are also producing quality white wines.
The Alsace region of France
Many white grapes and their wines come from the French Alsace region that at different times in history has been either a French or a German territory. In this region, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling receive the most attention from wine enthusiasts.
France’s Burgundy region and the U.S.’s California
The Burgundy region of France is recognized for the Chardonnay grape, one of the most popular of white grapes worldwide. The wine from these grapes is dry but refreshingly crisp. Although Chardonnay is traditionally from France, Australian Chardonnays are also very popular, as is California’s.
France’s and Italy’s Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Popularly called “Pinot Grigio,” this variety of white grape comes from a rose-colored grape which lends a rich golden yellow to the wines. In France, these wines are full-bodied and spicy; in Italy, the Pinot Grigio tends to be lighter-bodied and more acidic.
Riesling ranks along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay as one of the top three white grapes that are popular worldwide. This grape originated in the Rhine region of Germany in the sub-regions of Rheingau and Mosel. Highly aromatic and acidic with tropical fruit and floral notes, Riesling wines are distinctive. Riesling is rarely blended with other grapes.