Riesling, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc are by far the most popular white wine grapes in the world. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any other excellent white wine grapes as much popular. But for some reason, they are not much familiar to folks.
Here we will go through the best white wines worldwide, the regions that produce them, as well as, what they bring to the table in terms of acidity and flavors.
Riesling is pretty much a synonym for white wine grape, together with chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. This variety originates from the Rhine region, Rheingau, and Mosel. Each of them is in Germany.
Riesling wines are high in acidity and are very aromatic, featuring tropical or floral notes. Typically, Riesling is rarely mixed with other grape varieties and exhibits strong fragrant notes similar to Gewurztraminer wine.
#9 Sauvignon Blanc
This wine variety is famous for its dry and refreshing taste. The origin of this variety is Sauvignon in France. In France, great Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in the Loire Valley, as well as the world-famous Bordeaux region. Its aroma can go from fruity to floral, conditioned whether the wine has been grown in a tropical climate or in a cooler region.
Chardonnay is part of the holy trio of white wines: Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Chardonnay wines can be found in almost any restaurant worldwide and are always very popular among wine lovers. Its origin is the Burgundy region in France. But, Chardonnay wines from both Australia and California are also very popular.
Its origin is Spain, to be more precise, the dry and hot regions in central Spain like Valdepenas and La Mancha. It accounts for almost one-third of all grapes grown in Spain. At the moment, it is ranked third worldwide in terms of planted surface. The only two varieties that cover more surface than Airen are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This variety is also known as very resistant to both diseases and drought.
Airen wines are quite tasty and easy to drink. Typically they are low on acidity and features notes of mature fruit (grapefruit, pineapple, and banana).
Torrontes comes from Argentina and is very similar to wines made from the Muscat variety. Wines made from Torrontes have aromas of apricot and peach. They are aromatic wines featuring smooth texture. In terms of acidity, they range from moderate to high acidity.
#5 Gruner Veltliner
This is Austrian’s national grape that accounts for more than one-third of all vineyards in the country. Most of those vineyards can be found in the northeast regions of the country such as Kamptal, Kremstal, and Wachau. Almost by default, they are alongside the Danube river. Wines made from Gruner Veltliner are slightly fruity with notes of white pepper.
This is a golden-skinned grape variety that produces sweet and dry vines. The best Semillon wines are made by wine producers like Château d’Yquem which is located in the famous Bordeaux region. Wines there are dry and sweet and are known as Bordeaux Blanc. Semillon is also grown in Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.
This variety is mainly grown in France’s region of Alsace and in Western Germany. It became very popular after the Second World War as it was one of the varieties used for making Liebfraumilch wine. Even today, Silvaner is very popular and in demand, both in Germany and Europe.
#2 Pinot Blanc
Pinot Blanc is primarily grown in France’s Burgundy region and in Alsace which is situated in the northeast region of France. Outside France, Pinot Blanc is grown in Italy and Spain where it is known as Pinot Bianco, Austria (goes under the name Klevner), Germany (recognized under the name Weissburgunder).
Pinot Blanc wines have fruity aromas (apple or citrus) and feature strong floral characteristics. Most wines made from this variety are for immediate consumption. Also, almost by default, Pinot Blanc wines are very acidic.
This variety has an Italian origin from the Veneto region which is in the northeast part of the Italian peninsula. Best Garganega vineyards are located in Bianco di Custoza, Colli Euganei, Colli Berci, and Bianco di Custoza. This variety is known for its almond and lemon notes.
Honorable Mention: Albarino
This variety is also known as Alvarihno and is mainly found along Portugal’s and Spain’s Atlantic coastline. In Portugal, Albarino is mainly grown in the Vinho Verde region, while across the border, in Spain, it is mainly found in the Galicia region where it accounts for almost 90% of all grape varieties grown. This white grape variety is recognized by its distinctive botanical aroma, as well as its high acidity.
These are just some of the most popular white wine grape varieties from around the world. What’s your pick?
Please note: We’ve omitted less typical wines such as Muscat dessert wine from this list, even though we did include similar varietals like Torrontes.