Here's my selection of the more important white wine varietals. Click on each bar to learn more.

CHARDONNAY - The king of white wines

Origin
Chardonnay was born in the Burgundy region of France where it is known as White Burgundy and it was there that the wine gained great acclaim for its elegance.
Other countries besides France that produce Chardonnay are Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, US (California, Napa, Sonoma, Oregon, Texas, New York and Virginia) and South Africa.

Characteristics
Known as the king of white wines, Chardonnay (pronounced Shar-do-nay) makes excellent, rich and complex white wines. In the Burgundy district of France, it is used for some of the greatest wines created including Montrachet, Meursault and Pouilly-Fuisse. In Champagne it is used for Blanc de Blancs and Rose.
Chardonnay is the most diverse, most planted most popular white wine on earth. Travel to any wine region in the world, and you’ll find at least one vineyard growing Chardonnay.
So why did Chardonnay get such a bad rap?
During the ‘80s and ‘90s, winemakers, especially the mass market ones, started going oak crazy. Determining what they thought was a desire for oak, oak and more oak. They over-oaked Chardonnay and created what came to be known as butter bombs, a white wine that literally tasted like liquid butter in a bottle. This turned many wine drinkers off and caused many to say they hated Chardonnay, but that should not be the case!
The practice of over-oaking Chardonnay then stopped and winemakers reverted back to the heritage of the French Burgundian winemakers.

Now days Chardonnay’s are made either unoaked or oaked styles but the oaked wines have a better oak balance.
A little oak on a Chardonnay is not necessarily a bad thing as it creates the luscious mouth feel and gives us just a kiss of vanilla notes.
The Chardonnay colour spans from light straw yellow to yellow gold.

Flavours
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.
Chardonnay has a wide variety of flavours including green apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, melons, tropical fruit, pineapples, papaya, figs, lemons, spice, vanilla, butter, butterscotch, buttered toast, custard, honey, crème brule, citrus peel, honeysuckle and hazelnut.

Food Pairing
Foods that tend to pair well include pork, veal, chicken, creamy pasta, shellfish, salmon, tuna, brie and camembert.
This worldwide variety allows Chardonnay to go extremely well on its own while sitting outside in the summer, or even on a cold winter’s night with a hearty stew.

SAUVIGNON BLANC - a refreshing wine that has a great, aromas and tastes of herbs and grasses

Origin
Sauvignon blanc (aka Sancerre, Pouilly Fume and Fume Blanc) is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white") due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France.

 From Bordeaux the grape traveled north to the appellation of Sancerre in the Loire Valley region of France. In Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc was planted and cultivated in order to make a wine for which it would be the only ingredient. However, instead of naming the new wine Sauvignon Blanc, after the grape the wine had come from, the French chose to name the wine Sancerre (“Son-ser”), after the region where it was born

 Characteristics
Sauvignon Blanc (pronounced Saw-vin-yohn Blonk) main differentiator from other white wines is its green and herbaceous, jalapeño and gooseberry flavors.

In Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume in the Loire Valley, it has a strong herbaceous, grassy pungency, which combines with invigorating acids and stony minerality. It has become the benchmark white wine of New Zealand (particularly in the Malborough region) 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.

Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first fine wines to be bottled with a screw cap in commercial quantities, especially by New Zealand producers. The wine is usually consumed young, as it does not particularly benefit from aging, as varietal Sauvignon Blanc’s tend to develop vegetal aromas reminiscent of peas and asparagus with extended aging

 Flavours
Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing wine that has a great minerality, aromas and tastes of herbs and grasses and crispiness.
The primary fruit flavours of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passionfruit and white peach. Depending on how ripe the grapes are when the wine is made, the flavour will range from zesty lime to flowery peach.

Flavours include, lime, green apple, Asian pear, kiwi, passionfruit, guava, white peach, nectarine, grass, herb, citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, melons, peaches, mangos, herbs, bell peppers, minerals, gooseberry, basil, jalapeño, tarragon, celery, lemongrass, box of chalk and wet concrete.

 Food Pairing
Foods that pair well are, oysters, prawns, fresh crab and white fish. It also works well with dishes that contain raw or barely cooked tomato such as gazpacho, tomato consommé or tomato vinaigrettes and young goats' cheeses and salads that contain goats’ cheese.

Sushi and sashimi, seafood-based steamed and fried dim sum, smoked salmon, turkey, light chicken dishes, vegetables and pastas are all good food pairings

PINOT GRIS - A zesty white wine, refreshing on a hot summer's day

Origin
Sauvignon blanc (aka Sancerre, Pouilly Fume and Fume Blanc) is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white") due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France.

From Bordeaux the grape traveled north to the appellation of Sancerre in the Loire Valley region of France. In Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc was planted and cultivated in order to make a wine for which it would be the only ingredient. However, instead of naming the new wine Sauvignon Blanc, after the grape the wine had come from, the French chose to name the wine Sancerre (“Son-ser”), after the region where it was born

Characteristics
Pinot Gris (pronounced Pee-no-gree) and Pinot Grigio (pronounced Pee-no-gree-gio) are the same white grape, with two different names. In Italy, it is known as Pinot Grigio, while in France it's known as Pinot Gris. Having said that many countries use the terms interchangeably.

The Pinot Gris grape is in essence a white mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, which is red. Please note that the Pinot Blanc is not the same as Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. Pinot Blanc is a further mutation of the pinot noir grape.  Most Pinot Grigio wines are created in Italy. The Italian version of Pinot Grigio is typically dry and light, with minerality on the palate.

Many French Pinot Gris wines are grown in the Alsace region. These wines are more fruity and flowery than their Italian counterparts, though they still have that mineral aroma. Flavours can range from peach to grapefruit to melon.

The Pinot Gris grape has a grayish-blue colour, accounting for its name Gris meaning "gray" in French but the grapes can also have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The word Pinot which comes from the word meaning "pine cone" in French, as the grapes grow in small pine cone-shaped clusters. The wines produced from this grape also vary in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink and it is one of the more popular grapes used in orange wine.

Pinot Grigio, a zesty white wine that is as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day.

Flavours
Wines made from the Pinot Gris vary greatly and are dependent on the region and wine making style they are from. Alsatian Pinot Gris are medium to full bodied wines with a rich, somewhat floral bouquet. They tend to be spicy in comparisons with other Pinot Gris.

While most Pinot Gris are meant to be consumed early, Alsatian Pinot Gris can age well.

German Pinot Gris are more full-bodied with a balance of acidity and slight sweetness.

In Oregon the wines are medium bodied with a yellow to copper-pink color and aromas of pear, apple, and/or melon.

In California, the Pinot Gris are more light bodied with a crisp, refreshing taste with some pepper and arugula notes.

The Pinot Grigio style of Italy is a light-bodied, often lean wine that is light in color with sometimes spritzy flavors that can be crisp and acidic.

Flavours most often present are, lemons, lime, almond, white nectarine, green apples, citrus, oranges, honeysuckle, pear and melons.

Food Pairing
Pinot Gris pairs well with light dishes that are still on the "thick" side, like chicken in a rich white sauce, pork, eggplant with heavy spices and Asian dishes.

RIESLING - Used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet a well as sparkling white wines.

Origin
Riesling is a white grape varietal which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Other countries producing this varietal are Australia, Austria, France (Alsace region), the US (California, New York, Virginia and Washington state), New Zealand, Croatia, Slovakia, Italy and South Africa

Characteristics
Riesling (pronounced Rees-ling) is a variety that is highly terroir expressive, meaning that the character of Riesling wines is greatly influenced by the wine's place of origin. It is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet a well as sparkling white wines.

It is light bodied, has a pale yellow-green colour, high in acidity, low in alcohol and are seldom oaked.
Riesling is an aromatic, refreshing wine, usually crisp, due to its high levels of acidity and is known for its strong floral aromas.
The common assumption is that all Rieslings are very sweet, and while most Rieslings have at least a touch of sweetness, many Rieslings can be very dry as well.
It presents in tall slender glass bottle.

Flavours
In cool climates (such as many German wine regions), Riesling wines tend to exhibit apple and tree fruit notes with noticeable levels of acidity that are sometimes balanced with residual sugar. A late-ripening variety that can develop more citrus and peach notes is grown in warmer climates (such as Alsace and parts of Austria).

In Australia, Riesling is often noted for a characteristic lime note that tends to emerge in examples from the Clare and Eden Valley in South Australia. Riesling's naturally high acidity and pronounced fruit flavors give wines made from the grape exceptional aging potential, with well-made examples from favorable vintages often developing smoky, honey notes, and aged German Rieslings, in particular, taking on a petrol character.
Riesling can exhibit flavours of green apples, lemons, limes, grapefruit, apricots, pear, nectarine, melons, honeysuckle, vanilla, mineral and spice

Food Pairing
Riesling pairs well with spicy foods so Asian dishes (Thai green curry) and Indian foods and spiced duck work really well.
Other pairings include chicken, salmon, tuna, quiche Lorraine, pork, ham, turkey and vegetable dishes.

GEWURTZTRAMINER - Intensely floral, aromatic, spicy wines that range from bone dry to decadently sweet

Origin
A white wine born in the Alsace region of France and is also referred to as Gewürz (this is never the case in German, because "Gewürz" means "herb" or "spice"), and in French it is written Gewurztraminer.
The German name Gewürztraminer literally means "Spice Traminer" or "Perfumed Traminer". The grape variety is a mutation of the Savagnin Blanc, also named Traminer in South Tyrol (northern Italy).
Other countries producing Gewürztraminer are Italy, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Macedonia.

Characteristics
Gewürztraminer (pronounced Geh-voorts-tram-ener) produces intensely floral, aromatic, spicy wines that range from bone dry to decadently sweet. In cooler climate regions such as in northern Italy (where it is called simply Traminer), Gewürztraminer, makes a crisp, grapefruit-flavored white wine that rarely sees oak. Gewürztraminer is highly perfumed and a reasonably full-bodied wine.

The dark pink colour of the skin and pulp of ripe gewürztraminer grapes results in wines coloured from light to dark golden yellow with a copper tone, depending upon the fruit ripeness.

Gewürztraminer heightened aromatics, higher alcohol, and lower acidity may tend to make the wine taste sweeter than they actually are.
It also can be made into an excellent dessert wine.

Flavours
Bouquet of rose, honey, ginger, incense, cinnamon, smoke and lychees. In fact Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds.
Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes.
If you’re drinking high quality Gewürztraminer you’ll find a great many complex aromatics including ruby red grapefruit, rose petal, ginger and a smoky aroma similar to burnt incense. Other flavours include, honeysuckle, peaches, pineapple, apricots, vanilla, clove, nutmeg and allspice.

Food Pairing
Asian, Indian and Moroccan dishes (pairs well with Spicy foods), duck, chicken, pork, bacon, shrimp and crab.

CHENIN BLANC - One of the most versatile of all wine grape varieties

Origin
Chenin Blanc originated in the Loire Valley of France, with reports tracing the white wine grape back as far as the ninth century. In fact it was in 1655 when the grape left France and travelled to South Africa.
Many believe Jan Van Riebeeck (considered by many Afrikaans speaking South African’s as the father of the South African nation), exported the grape vines from France and first planted the grape at his home vineyard in South Africa.
The grape’s high acidity and ease of growth caused it to spread across the country, becoming the largest planted white wine in the region. Initially the grape was used primarily as the main ingredient in the country’s large brandy production.
Toward the end of the twentieth century, South Africa was coming into its own as a well respected affordable wine region, and much like Argentina and Chile, they were looking for a grape to call their own. It was a hit and South African quickly became the largest producer of Chenin Blanc (also called Steen in South Africa) in the world.

 Characteristics
Chenin Blanc (pronounced She-nin) also known as Vouvray, is one of the most versatile of all wine grape varieties. Its expression is varied and spans from crisp, off dry, light sparkling, nectar-like dessert wines, and even brandy are all produced in various areas of the wine world, all using dominantly or entirely Chenin Blanc grapes.

Chenin Blanc grapes can be used to produce so many different wines because they so readily take on different characteristics depending on where they are grown, how they are aged, and how the wine maker uses them. As a consequence, even nominally similar wines made with Chenin Blanc grapes can taste very different if they come from different regions or are produced by very different wineries.

Flavours
Chenin Blanc has a wide range of flavors. Part of the reason for this has a lot to do with the winemaking style.

South African Chenin Blanc has tropical fruit flavours of melon, pineapple and banana that go along with a very distinguishing flavour of green apple.

Chenin exhibits an array of flavours including floral aromas, apple and pear-like flavours, nectarine, honeydew, melon, burnt sugar, orange blossom, honeycomb, spice, mineral notes, pineapple, tangerine, passion fruit, nutmeg and assertive acidity.

Food Pairing
Veal, trout, chicken, turkey, pork chops, guinea foul, Smoked Salmon, goats cheese, tuna tartare, sushi, salt and pepper squid, scallops, fish cakes, onion tart, lobster, oysters, crab and prawns,

VIOGNIER - full-bodied wines with a lush, soft character

Origin
The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown but what we do know that it is presumed to be an ancient grape, possibly originating in Dalmatia (present day Croatia) and then brought to Rhône by the Romans.

Viognier was once fairly common however in 1965, the grape was almost extinct when there were only eight acres in Northern Rhône producing just 1,900 litres of wine. The popularity and price of the wine have risen, and the number of plantings has increased. Rhône now has over 740 acres planted.
Other countries producing Viognier are the US, Australia, South Africa, Austria, Italy, Canada, Chile and Argentina,

Characteristics
Like Chardonnay, Viognier (pronounced Vee-on-nee-yay) has the potential to produce full-bodied wines with a lush, soft character. In contrast to Chardonnay, the Viognier varietal has more natural aromatics that include notes of peach, pears, violets and minerality. When fully ripe the grapes have a deep yellow color and produce wine with a strong perfume and high in alcohol.
Viognier is often blended with Shiraz (it has a close DNA relationship with Shiraz), Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc In the Northern Rhône, the grape is sometimes blended with Chardonnay.

Most loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, Viognier can also be oak-aged to add a rich creamy taste with hints of vanilla.

 Flavours
Viognier is intensely aromatic, and when perfectly ripened, smells of apricots, peaches, pineapple 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.
Viognier ranges in taste from lighter flavours of tangerine, mango and honeysuckle to creamier aromas of vanilla with spices of nutmeg and clove. Depending on the producer and how it’s made, it will range in intensity from light and spritzy with a touch of bitterness to bold and creamy. If you like Chardonnay you’ll like the weight of Viognier and notice it’s often a little softer on acidity, a bit lighter and also more perfumed.

New oak aging delivers a richer creamier taste, lower acidity and aromas of clove, nutmeg and vanilla. Neutral and no oak aging (made in Stainless steel) will deliver more floral and tropical fruit flavors in the wine while maintaining its acidity and often a subtle bitter notes.

Food Pairing
Roasted Chicken, Chicken Curry, Quail, Pork Chop with Apricot Sauce, Roast Turkey Breast, Teriyaki Tofu, Sesame Tempeh, Pan Seared Tilapia with Avgolemono Sauce, Halibut, Sea Bass, Lobster, Crab, Shrimp, Poached Salmon, Savory Orange Chicken

The trick to pairing foods with Viognier wine is to fully respect its delicate floral notes and medium acidity. Thus, as a general rule, focus on embellishing and expanding the wine’s core flavours while making sure that the foods you pair with it aren’t too acidic or bold. A great example might be to match a bolder weight Viognier with chicken tangine with apricots and almonds served over a saffron rice. The aromas in the dish should heighten the fruit flavours and creaminess in the wine.

SEMILLON - a fine, bone-dry white wine, notable for its texture and softly grassy aromas

Origin
Semillon hails from the French region of Bordeaux where it is used to make great dry whites and one of the key varietals used in Sauternes a sublime dessert wines in Bordeaux. It first arrived in Australia in the early 19th century and by the 1820s the grape covered over 90 percent of South Africa’s vineyards, where it was known as Wyndruif, meaning "wine grape". Today, it accounts for just 1% of South African Cape vines.
It was once considered to be the most planted grape in the world, although this is no longer the case, Cabernet Sauvignon is.
Other counties producing Semillon are Chile, Argentina, US, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Characteristics
Semillon (pronounced Sem-me-on) is France’s 3rd most planted white wine variety behind Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
In Australia, Semillon is used to make both dry and sweet wines. The finest Australian Semillon is the dry style from the Hunter Valley, where the fruit is picked early, with low sugar levels. Classic Hunter Semillon is subdued in its youth, with fine, piercing acidity and lemon flavour. These wines are famous for their capacity to age, evolving through an array of lemon flavours, eventually becoming richer and developing complex toasty and honeyed characters.
Semillon can make a fine, bone-dry white wine, notable for its texture and softly grassy aromas, or it can be late-harvested, shriveled with botrytis, and turned into some of the world’s greatest dessert wines.

Flavours
Semillon’s made in warm climates produce riper fruit flavours, including yellow peach, apricots and papaya,. It’s not uncommon to find wines from these regions using moderate oak-aging to add buttery notes to the flavour. Warm climate regions include California, South Africa, Argentina and South Australia. Wines will have slightly higher alcohol around 12-14% ABV.
Cool climate Semillon’s on the other hand especially when picked less ripe, have a lot more acidity and engender citrus flavours of lemon, lime zest and grapefruit are accentuated in this style when winemakers don’t oak-age. Cooler climate regions include Bordeaux, Western Australia and Washington State. In these areas, wines will have about 10-12% ABV

Food Pairing
Oysters, sushi, crab, squid, scallops, lobster, salmon, seafood risotto, pork, chicken and spring vegetables

 

MARSANNE - A silky, exotic, oily texture that improves markedly with bottle age

Origin
This variety is a native to the Hermitage area in the Rhone Valley where it is often blended with other Rhone white varieties, and Roussanne, Viognier and sometimes Grenache Blanc. It is one of eight grape varieties permitted in the Cotes de Rhone appellation.

The grape first made its way to Australia in the 1860s and was planted in the states of Victoria and South Australia. The Tahbilk winery was among the first to grow Marsanne in the Nagambie Lakes district, and now boasts what may be the oldest productive Marsanne vines in the world, which were planted in 1927.

Characteristics
Marsanne (Pronounced Mah- saan) is a white wine-grape variety from the Rhone Valley, perhaps best known for its role in the celebrated whites of Hermitage. It is also found in Savoie and Switzerland, where it is known as Ermitage, and has been warmly adopted as a specialist curio in both Australia and the United States, most notably California and Washington. The varietal is also known as Grosse Roussette, Marsana and Ermiatge Blanc.

Marsanne wines generally possess good weight and structure, but often lack any depth of perfume and flavour. This explains the long-standing Rhone Valley tradition of blending the variety with its more aromatic cousin Roussanne. Together they form the core of white wines from both Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph and the sparkling whites of Saint-Peray. Both are also key ingredients in white Cotes du Rhone wines, usually alongside Grenache Blanc and Viognier.

Wines produced from Marsanne are quite rich and can even develop a silky, exotic, oily texture and improve markedly with bottle age where it develops a beautiful golden colour and the flavour rounds out to something resembling baked apples.
Marsanne wines are typically colored with straw-like hues, and even fleeting golden-green glints
Old-vine Marsanne has the potential to age and can develop deep amber colours and nutty, orange-marmalade flavours.

 Flavours
On the nose the best examples have a slightly earthy minerality, lifted by notes of honeysuckle and melon. Other flavours include, almonds, white peaches, lightly spiced pears, scents of roasted nuts, honeydew melon, spice and flowers.

 Food Pairing
Pan-fried trout with almonds, soba noodles with salmon and sesame seeds, baked eggplant with crème fraîche, lobster, crab, shrimp, seabass, clams and mussels.
Marsanne also pairs well with chicken, duck, scallops, veal, pork dishes, spicy flavours, spicy Szechuan dish and Asian cuisine.

PINOT BLANC - Used in the production of still, sparkling and sweet dessert wines.

Origin
Pinot Blanc originated in Burgundy as a mutation of Pinot Noir and the grapes are similar to those of Chardonnay.In earlier centuries, Pinot Blanc was far more important in Bourgogne vineyards than it is today. In the 1700s, the most famous of red burgundies, Domaine De La Romanée Conti (DRC), contained 20% Pinot Blanc and/or Pinot Gris. Today DRC is 100% Pinot Noir.
Pinot Blanc plantings are extensive in Italy, where the grape is known as Pinot Bianco
There are vineyards in both Germany and Austria, where Pinot Blanc may be called Weissburgunder (meaning White Burgundy).
Other countries producing Pinot Blanc are USA, Canada, Australia, Spain, Hungry, Uruguay and Argentina.

Characteristics
Pinot Blanc (pronounced Pee-no-blonk) is a versatile white-wine grape variety that is used in the production of still, sparkling and sweet dessert wines.
It is similar to Chardonnay but lighter in style and are characteristically high in acid and low in aromatic intensity.
In Germany, its wines are usually light and refreshing, but in Austria, it is used to make the luxuriously sweet and textured Trockenbeerenauslese.
Pinot Blanc's high natural acidity makes it a popular choice in the production of sparkling wine.
It is often blended with Auxerrois and is Alsace everyday white.

Flavours
Pinot Blanc wines are typified by almond aromas, with a hint of spice. On the palate they show a range of apple flavors, usually at the floury and creamy end of the spectrum. They may display some light mineral characteristics, but these are generally muted by the oak treatment favoured in the region.
Other noted are citrus, melons and sometimes a touch of smokiness, 

Food Pairing
Quiche Lorraine, Pad Thai noodles, Grilled chicken with garlic and tahini sauce.
Fish, white meats, poultry and egg-based dishes. It is also delicious with soft cheeses.

ROUSSANNE - Intense aromatics which can include notes of herbal tea

Origin
Roussanne is a white wine grape grown originally in the Rhône wine region in France.
It is traditionally used as a blending grape. In the Southern Rhône, Roussanne is one of six white grape varietals permitted in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and it is often blended with Grenache Blanc, whose richness and crisp acids highlight Roussanne’s pear and honey flavors.
In the Northern Rhône, Roussanne is frequently blended with Marsanne in the appellations of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Saint Joseph to provide acidity, minerality and richness.
As a single varietal wine, it reaches its pinnacle as the sole component of Château de Beaucastel’s Roussanne Vieilles Vigne.
Other countries producing Roussanne are USA, Italy and Australia and South Africa.

Characteristics
Roussanne (pronounced Roo-Saan) is small in size and grows in compact bunches. It’s because of its tight clusters that do not allow for much air between the grapes that makes it easy for rot to develop. When ripe, the berries take on a gold, copper tinted colouring. Once harvested, the berries are also prone to oxidize quickly.
Wines made from Roussanne are characterized by their intense aromatics and blended with Marsanne is the perfect pairing. Marsanne adds the fat, richness, oily textures and sweetness to the wines, while Rousanne brings more acidity, elegance and aromatic complexities to the wine.
In Chateauneuf du Pape , Roussanne is one of six white wine grapes allowed by AOC law in the region.

Flavours
Wines made from Roussanne are characterized by their intense aromatics which can include notes of herbal tea. In its youth it shows more floral, herbal and fruit notes, such as pear, which become more nutty as the wine ages.
Roussanne is a late ripening variety that produces notes of fresh flowers, stone fruits, peaches, herbs, pears, spice, roasted nuts and hints of pepper. Wines produced from Roussanne are quite rich and can even develop a silky, exotic, oily texture.
Food Pairing
Roussanne is perfect for many wine and food matches as the grape produces good, food friendly wines.
Roussanne with food pairs well with a wide variety of seafood dishes, especially shellfish, cod, lobster, crab and of course the most important fish dish of Southern France, bouillabaisse. Roussanne also pairs well with pate, roast chicken, pork, veal, cream sauces, spicy flavors, Asian cuisine and with a vast array of different soft and hard cheeses.

GRUNER VELTLINER - lime, lemon and grapefruit flavours in a wine that ages well

Origin
Grüner Veltliner (Green Wine of Veltlin) has been believed to date back to Roman times with its name being derived from Veltlin (Valtellina) in northern Italy though ampelographers and wine historians have yet to find a link between the grape and the Italian commune. The grape is likely indigenous to Austria and only by the 1930s was Grüner Veltliner established as the standard name of the grape.
In 2007, DNA analysis confirmed that Grüner Veltliner was a natural crossing of Savagnin (Traminer) and obscure Austria grapevine from the village of Sankt Georgen am Leithagebirge located outside Eisenstadt in Burgenland region of eastern Austria.
Grunter Veltliner is a variety of white wine grape variety grown primarily in Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
Accounting for over a third of all plantings in Austria, Grüner Veltliner is by far its most popular variety. Outside of Austria, Grüner Veltliner is the second most widely grown white grape variety in the Czech Republic.

Characteristics
The majority of Grüner Veltliner (pronounced Grooner-velt-leener) is produced in a dry style. Even though some Grüner Veltliner wine has a hint of sweetness, because the acidity is so high most drinkers cannot taste it.
Its ability to age beautifully is one of the many interesting characteristics that Grüner Veltliner shares with Riesling. Both varieties have naturally high acidity, an essential component of wine that will age well.
Austria's serious winemakers have discovered that, with lower yields and higher ripeness, Grüner Veltliner can produce stunningly intense and concentrated wines. Pleasant citrus and grapefruit aromas, with a hint of the variety's most distinguishing characteristic, the spicy fragrance of freshly ground white pepper.
Grüner Veltliner is usually a full-bodied dry wine (up to 14% alcohol) with a firm mineral backbone, giving it the strength of character to work well with many cuisines and has a reputation of being a particularly food-friendly wine.

Flavours
The primary fruit flavours in Grüner Veltliner are lime, lemon and grapefruit. There is also a green and herbaceous flavour that is often described as white pepper. Young and unoaked versions of this wine show green grape and apple flavors along with peach, citrus and mineral notes.
Other flavours include nectarine, tarragon, ginger and honey.

Food Pairing
Grüner pairs with an array of foods.
On the fish front, raw oysters and clams, sushi, poached lobster, pan-seared or fried fish.
It’s a great pairing with Asian dishes and spicy flavoured foods.
Meats like crispy pork belly, braised veal, chicken and smoked tongue work well as do cheeses, mushrooms, asparagus and artichokes.