Author: dr. Gabriella Mészáros

White wines

White wines

White wines are made all round the world, mostly (but not exclusively) from white grape varieties. The number of so-called “blanc de noir” wines, which are made from black grapes but with a process more typical to white wines, is relatively low. These are not left to ferment on the skins, thus the berries are unable to lend their colour to the finished wine. The one feature connecting all white wines is the essence and soul of this type of drink, its acidity

Therefore, the range of white wines available for sale around the world can be divided into two main categories. The first is fresh wines with vibrant acidity and memorable, fruity aromas and flavours, which are currently extremely popular. These wines do not require any ageing as they are consumed within the first or second year of the harvest. Grape varieties from which such wine can be made include fragrant, aromatic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Irsai Olivér, Cserszegi Fűszeres, Királyleányka and the Muscat varieties. Their flavours are determined by strong aromas originating from the grape: you can often taste notes of green apple (Chardonnay), gooseberry, asparagus (Sauvignon Blanc) or even citrus fruit (Riesling). These are generally vibrant wines full of energy, which are produced quickly and consumed young. Their ideal cultivation areas within the Carpathian Basin include the Mátra, Bükk, Etyek-Buda, Mór and Pannonhalma wine districts.

The other category of white wines is those aged in oak barrels. During this process, many warmer, less vibrant notes develop within their flavour palate. In the case of this group of wines, the oxygen content of the air lends a fuller-bodied and rounder character to the wine. When making such wines, winemakers need to pay attention right from the start to ensure that the grapes are more concentrated. Overly thin wines will not benefit fully from the barrel ageing process. These wines offer notes of apple, pear, apricot, sweet honeydew melon and stone fruit. The ageing process may also result in creamy, buttery aromas and flavours. These wines are often made from Furmint, Hárslevelű, Olaszrizling and Juhfark in Hungary and Chardonnay or Viognier on the international market. These can be aged much longer than their counterparts matured in airtight tanks. The volcanic soils of the Badacsony, Somló, Eger and Tokaj wine districts are capable of especially fine wines in this category.

The colour of a white wine depends on how much air it has been exposed to during its lifecycle.

The process of making white wine

 

White grape varieties, white wine styles

Aletta
Arany sárfehér
Bianca
Budai Zöld
Chardonnay
Cirfandli
Csabagyöngye
Cserszegi fűszeres
Egri Csillag
Ezerjó
Furmint
Hárslevelű
Irsai Olivér
Juhfark
Kabar
Kéknyelű
Királyleányka
Kövérszőlő
Kövidinka
Kunleány
Leányka
Müller-Thurgau
Muscat Ottonel
Olaszrizling
Pinot Blanc
Pinot Gris
Rhine Riesling
Rózsakő
Sárgamuskotály
Sauvignon Blanc
Szerémi Zöld
Tokaji szamorodni
Tramini
Viognier
Vulcanus
White blend
Zalagyöngye
Zefír
Zengő
Zenit
Zéta
Zeus
Zöldveltelini
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