Clairette wine grape

One of the oldest varieties of southern France, Clairette was once very widely planted but today is perceived as rather old-fashioned.  There’s still quite a lot of it about, especially in the Drôme region to the east of the middle Rhône, where it is the sole variety in the AOCs Coteaux de Die and the sparkling Clairette de Die.  It is also a significant variety further southwest in the Languedoc, where it probably originated.
Tolerant of drought and poor soils, it ripens late and retains good acidity.  Along with its simple, appley flavours this makes it well suited for sparkling wines in hot, dry climates, or for injecting crispness into a still white blend.  Those characteristics have also served it well in South Africa and the Lebanon.

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