It’s White Wine Day! Here’s the Ultimate Guide for this Special Day. 

White wine lovers rejoice – today is your day! Whether you’re looking to learn more about your beverage of choice, refresh your knowledge, or discover some new and exciting white wine recommendations, you have come to the right place!

If you would like a refresher, we can start with the basics; white wine is generally made with white grapes, however (fun fact), you can also use red grapes. Grape skins are responsible for a wine’s colour, so the grapes are pressed prior to fermentation to remove the skins and avoid any pigmentation in the wine.

When it comes to white grapes, there are over 600 varietals grown around the world. The most popular and widely grown varietals include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Viognier, and Chenin Blanc. Each grape has unique characteristics. For instance, Riesling is an aromatic grape with high acidity, and Moscato has unique floral aromas and is very versatile for winemaking. 

If you know what style of white wine you enjoy, but are unfamiliar with each grape varietal, this chart, created by and award-winning author and wine communicator from Wine Folly is the perfect guide for you:

To creating a bolder white wine, there are certain techniques and tools winemakers use to develop different textures amd flavours, such as malolactic fermentation. While primary fermentation consists of yeast consuming the sugar in grapes and producing alcohol, malolactic fermentation, also known as secondary fermentation, is an acid conversion prompted by bacteria. The bacteria consumes the acid in wine and produces lactic acid, creating a creamy, buttery, and oil-like texture in the wine. Although this process is mainly used for red wine production, and a select few white wines, it is a common practice when producing Chardonnay and Viognier.

Another way to exhibit a creamy texture in a wine is with lees. Lees are leftover yeast particles that sit at the bottom of a barrel or a tank. A winemaker can let a wine age on lees from a few months to a few years, and some may periodically stir the wine to integrate the lees into the wine. The lees will also add yeast-like notes to the wine. 

Okay, that’s enough homework for today. Let’s get to the good stuff. Here are three white wines we are loving right now. And they are all Canadian!

Hidden Bench Estate Riesling

  • Hidden Bench Estate Winery, located on Niagara’s Beamsville Bench, was selected as Wine Align’s 2023 Winery of the Year, which makes it the perfect time to try their wines (if you haven’t already)! Their Estate Riesling is pure and fresh with a floral nose that displays aromas of honeysuckle, lime, grapefruit, apple skin, and saline freshness. 

French Door Sauvignon Blanc

  • Recently awarded 91 points by writer and wine columnist Jonh Schreiner, the 2022 French Door Sauvignon Blanc is dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long, elevated finish.

Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay

  • Mission Hill’s Reserve Chardonnay highlights the excellence of the Okanagan with fresh citrus and ripe stone fruit aromas which are complemented by an exciting line of acidity and silky smooth texture from subtle oak aging.