Ugni blanc is an old, white varietal originally from Italy. Planted in different places, it is often blended with other grapes in warm terroirs to bring a freshness to the wine due to its natural acidity. To taste, it stands out for its discrete aromatic profile that centres around citrus, quince, and floral notes. On the palate, freshness is its defining feature.
This is by far the most common varietal used for making wines destined to be distilled into cognacs and armagnacs. It has properties that suit the local rootstock grafted since the phylloxera crisis. This grape gives highly acidic wines with low alcohol, a combination that naturally protects the wine from oxidation without the need for too much added sulphur. This low alcohol level also means that the aromas remain concentrated when the wine is passed through a still. It is often said that a fine cognac vintage is a fresh one!
Another well-recognised use of this varietal is made in Italy, where it is called Trebbiano, producing cuvées that are not so aromatic among the more basic versions but have a coveted liveliness about them! This grape is also planted in the Languedoc, Provence and Corsica.
Melon de bourgogne
Muscat blanc à petits grains
Sauvignon à gros grains