One of southern France’s oldest varietals, Clairette can often be found in Mediterranean regions. A grape that thrives in warm, sunny terroirs, Clairette ripens slowly, grows best in limestone soils, and is highly resistant to drought. Also known as Clairette Blanche, this white wine varietal displays notes of fennel, green apple, stone fruit, and grapefruit. Best enjoyed alongside seafood, Vietnamese fare, and a myriad of vegetables.
Although Clairette was once super popular, it is by no means considered a major grape. Most commonly found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, Clairette is usually blended with other grapes like Ugni Blanc, Terret Blanc, and Grenache Blanc. Producing wines with high levels of alcohol, Clairette can make sparkling wines, dessert wines, or dry wines which should be enjoyed young or risk becoming oxidized.
Check out these Clairette blends:
Grape Photo Credit: Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof - 76833 Siebeldingen, GERMANY