Sémillon

Common synonyms: Wyndruif (South Africa)

Parentage of the grape: undetermined, likely native to Bordeaux and/or surroundings
 
History of the grape: Little is documented about the early years of this grape, which is surprising due to its distinguished popularity in the regions where it is grown. It has been used in quality production in France, in the areas in and around Bordeaux for centuries. It is there that it is found in elegant dry white wines, most often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. But perhaps even more importantly, its predisposition for Botrytis cinerea (a.k.a. “noble rot”), which has an astounding effect on the grape (as long as it is healthy), pinpointing its sugars and aromas for the Cadillac of sweet wine, Chateau d’Yquem of Sauternes. These wines can take long cellar aging and are some of the most sought after and expensive wines in the world. In more accessible forms, it is found in the late harvest dessert wines of lesser grade Sauternes (which are still Read more »

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