White wine is just as delicious and exciting as red wine – let’s get our tastebuds tempted before our fabulous Winery Tour:
The Invention of White Wine
Archaeological evidence points to modern-day Iran, around 3500BC, being the starting point of white wine. The process involved fermenting a beverage from non-coloured grape pulp. From there, white wine started up in Greece, in the year 460 B.C.
The Romans borrowed from the Greek winemaking practices and started to grow grapes in the Bay of Naples and areas of Italy. It’s at this time that we begin to see the effects of growing wine grapes in the right climate.
How Is White Wine Made?
First off, grape skins are removed prior to fermentation, to avoid imparting high levels of tannins, and colour into the wine.
This is different to red wine production, where the grape skins are left on during fermentation to ensure colours, flavours and tannins impart into the wine.
Fermentation is the process where grape juices transform into alcohol. It’s when yeasts turn sugar into ethanol and CO2. This can be carried out by natural yeasts which are found on the berries, in the vineyards and in the cellar, or by cultured yeast, which can be bought from laboratories.
White wine is fermented for two to four weeks at a low temperature of 12-22 degrees, to allow the delicate flavours, aromas and goodness to come through.
Once fermented, winemakers will often tweak the wine through choices such as maturing in old oak barrels (re-used) or new oak barrels, which can bring vanilla or coconut flavours into the mix. The older the barrel, the less flavour they will impart. After this, the wine is bottled.
STYLES OF WHITE WINE
Bold and Dry: Strongly flavoured and often aged in oak barrels. Chardonnay, Semillon and Viognier.
Bold and Sweet: Suitable with dessert. Late Harvest wine, Sherry and Madeira.
Light and Sweet: Very aromatic and often with a hint of sugar. Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Muscat Blanc.
Light and Zesty: Known for light body and clean fresh taste. Alberino, Chablis and Grenache Blanc.
Herbaceous: Light bodied ranging from sweet grasses to bell pepper. Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo and Vermentino.
Book your Winery tour today and enjoy some of these delicious styles of wines in our beautiful region at local wineries!