More About Ugni Blanc

This ubiquitous grape is perhaps better known by its Italian name of Trebbiano. In Cognac, where it comprises almost 95% of all vines planted and forms the base for brandy, it is also known as St. Emilion. Although very few people in the United States have heard of it, the varietal is France’s most planted grape [Robinson, 1996], outnumbering Chardonnay five to one in the 1980s. The varietal is so prolific that it produces more wine than any other grape (even though Grenache and Spain’s Airén may cover a larger vineyard area). It is relatively low in alcohol but high in acidity, and, when not overproduced, makes wines with delicate fruit and floral aromas. The United States appears to be one of the last wine-producing countries without measurable acreage of Ugni Blanc. In addition to France and Italy, it is widely grown in Australia, South Africa, and even Southeast Asia.