Semillon - White Wine Grape

Semillon, Bordeaux and elsewhere...

Semillon probably originated in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France, where it remains the major white grape. Semillion is often blended with other white varieties and is the major component in the world-famous sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac and in the (usually) dry white wines of Graves. It is also grown in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and the United States, especially California.

Classic Image of Semillion Grapes Sémillon image first published in Victor Rendu, Ampelographie francaise, comprenant la statistique, la description des meilleurs cepages, l'analyse chimique du sol et les procedes de culture et de vinification des principaux vignobles de la France. [2nd ed.]Paris: Masson, 1857.

Illustration courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Wine Literature of the World website.

Semillon juice tastes of peaches and apricots, with a lanolin texture. From the Bordeaux region of France come the great Sauternes and Barsac. These wines are produced from overripe Semillon grapes that are individually picked. They are blended with Sauvignon Blanc and perhaps Muscadelle to produce a syrupy, full-bodied fruity that may be world class, or in the case of Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes, define world class.

Enjoy a dry Semillon with Clams, Mussels, pan-fried Fish, or Pasta Salad. Enjoy a Sauternes with Foie Gras or on its own. It doesn’t have to be a Chateau d’Yquem to be excellent.

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