LESSON THREE: Best Whites Where?

Let’s go back to Module 1 and review the three “Temperature” climates:

Cool:               Average below 62o F / 16.5o C

Moderate:        Average between 62o F / 16.5o C and 65o F / 18.5o C

Warm:              Average between 65o F / 18.5o C and 70o F / 21o C

White wines experience dramatic differences in style depending on the climate in which the grapes are grown.  As we deep dive into Chardonnay, which is grown in all three climates, we will explore just how diverse the resulting styles can be.  Below is a great reference tool to identify which varieties of white grapes prefer which climate.  Some varietals can thrive in multiple climates, so if one is in multiple columns, do not worry, it’s not a mistake!  We will not cover every varietal in this course, only those in BOLD, but we highly encourage you to explore them on your own:

ChardonnayChenin BlancGewurztraminerPinot Gris/GrigioRieslingSauvignon BlancAlbarino Chardonnay Chenin Blanc Cortese Furmint Garganega Gewurztraminer Pinot Gris/Grigio Riesling Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ViognerChardonnay Chenin Blanc Semillon

This table lists only a small fraction of the world’s grape varieties.  While there are so many great ones to explore, our goal at DOMSOM is for you to build a strong foundation on the varietals which account for a majority of wine grown and sold in the U.S. today.  While not an exact statistic, research indicates approximately 80% of wine is made from 8 varietals (pretty impressive with more than 1,000 options!).  Over the past few years, the top 4 best-selling white wines in the US are Chardonnay, Pinot Gris / Grigio, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.