Friday, 10 March 2017

Sémillon - Grapes and Wines from Australia

Sémillon is a golden skin grape variety grown in France and Australia. It is used to make sweet and dry white wines. It was once estimated to be the world’s most grown grape variety but not anymore. 

Origin, Regions and Other Names
Sémillon grape has its roots in Bordeaux region of France. In early times, it was known by the name of Sémillon de Saint-Émilion. It is grown in Chile, France, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand It is known by Groendruif, Colombier, Wyndruif, Malaga, Hunter River Riesling and Blanc doux to name a few.

Viticulture and Aging
Sémillon shows a high resistant to plant diseases, however, it is prone to rot. It ripens early and displays pinkish hue in warmer climates. It grows reasonably well in an area with sunny days and cool nights. Sémillon can achieve good yield - about 6 to 8 tons of grapes per acre. Sémillon wines generally age well.

Semillon Styles of Australia
In Australia, this grape variety is quite popular and in Hunter Valley wine region it goes by the name of ‘Hunter River Riesling’.

There are mainly 4 types of style by which Sémillon wine is made here –

· The first style is a commercial one, blending with Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
· The second one is a sweeter style, on the lines of Sauternes.
· The third style has great aging potential, is complex and minerally.
· The last one is dry style of high quality

The last two styles were started by Tyrrell's, Tulloch, Lindemans, Drayton's and McWilliam's Elizabeth and are unique to Australia in every sense.

Adelaide Hills is thriving as a Sémillon wine region, the cooler climate providing added complexity to the wine.

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