Very present in the Bordeaux region, Sémillon is a white grape variety which makes it possible to produce dry and sweet white wines, in blends or as a single variety. Known to be the emblematic grape variety of the great wines of Sauternes and Barsac, Sémillon offers many qualities. Discover in detail all the secrets of Sémillon .
The origins of Sémillon
Sémillon is a grape variety originating from France , and more precisely from Bordeaux. We find written traces of its culture dating from the 17th century. It is then mainly used to produce sweet wines, particularly in the Sauternes vineyard .
Faced with the phylloxera crisis of the 20th century, Sémillon gradually replaced Sauvignon Blanc, which did not resist the attacks of the insect. But it lost its splendor in the 1950s, when sweet and dry Sauvignon Blanc wines regained their notoriety, to the detriment of sweet wines. Today, Sémillon is cultivated on nearly 15,000 hectares of vines .
The grape variety has not stopped at the French borders, and many other countries have been cultivating it for a long time: Australia, South Africa, Chile, California, Brazil, Argentina...
The particularities of Sémillon
Sémillon is a productive grape variety with medium berries and pretty bright green leaves, which like gravelly soils and a warm climate. The thick skin then allows noble rot to develop without bursting the grain, which gives white wines that typical rich and fatty appearance. In fact, this fungus is not really a parasite, since instead of destroying the grain, it gives it very pleasant sweet properties .
Ultimately, Sémillon would not be so popular without noble rot. This is why winegrowers work hard to allow the development of this microscopic fungus . To achieve this, you must be able to combine exposure to morning mist, sunshine during the day, and humidity throughout the fall. Then, the winegrowers select the fruits grain by grain.
Wines from Sémillon
During a blind tasting, Sémillon may be confused with Sauvignon Blanc , although their origins are unrelated. They are also often combined to produce dry and lively wines, such as Entre-Deux-Mers.
When vinified into white wine, this white Bordeaux grape variety releases aromas of lime, honey and green apple, which bring a certain minerality to the bottle of wine.
Vinified as a sweet wine , Sémillon offers a pretty golden color, which turns towards amber during aging. On the palate, we find aromas of honey, citrus fruits and marmalade, all enhanced by a floral note. Great cellarable sweet wines develop, with age, fruity aromas of candied lemon and citrus fruits when ripe.
The best-known appellations of sweet wines based on Sémillon are Sauternes, Barsac, Loupiac, Cadillac and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont. But we also know them in Dordogne: Bergerac, Monbazillac, Montravel and Saussignac.
What food and Sémillon wine pairings?
The dishes that will accompany your good bottle of Sémillon will, of course, depend on the type of wine.
Thus, you can serve a dry white wine made with Sémillon to accompany an aperitif , fish, white meat, or a fresh and aromatic starter. If you opt for a sweet wine, made with muscadelle and semillon , you can then serve it with foie gras.
With sweet wines, we advise you to present more exotic dishes , with sweet and sour flavors. But you can also serve it with blue cheese, desserts made from exotic fruits or chocolate.
Our wines made from Sémillon
Our different estates produce fresh and tasty white wines every year. Sémillon then stands out as a perfect grape variety for our blended wines .
- White inspiration 2021 - AOP Côtes de Provence : a clever marriage of Sémillon, Ugni Blanc and Rolle produces this white wine with intense fruit notes and a touch of freshness so pleasant on hot summer days;
- Château de Berne Grande Cuvée white 2017 - AOP Côtes de Provence : this white wine in organic conversion is composed of Rolle and Sémillon. This blend offers a wine with lovely aromatic complexity, where we find notes of grilled hazelnuts, licorice, milk bread and pineapple;
- Le Pigeonnier blanc 2021 - AOP Côtes de Provence : this white wine, gold medalist at the Provence wine competition, reveals a beautiful minerality and freshness accentuated by the aromas of fruit, particularly citrus.
Sémillon is a grape variety particularly recognized for producing excellent sweet wines. Our estates use it in Provence to produce dry and fresh white wines which perfectly accompany all your festive meals and your summer days.