Grapes are snacks that are not only easy to eat, but they’re delicious and good for you, too. White grapes, in particular, are a type of grape that can be utilized for a lot of different foods and beverages.
This versatile form of grape tends to be a bit less common than your traditional red or purple grape, but they’re just as great nonetheless.
Here, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of white grapes. Everything you want to know about them, we’ll find out for you.
How Are They Grown?
Typically, grapes will be grown in a vineyard (though you can grow them in your own backyard). A vineyard allows for ample space for these vine plants to grow and flourish without cross-pollinating with one another. Usually, grapes are grown around five to ten feet apart from each other.
After they’ve been planted, the grapes will be under close examination, receiving water, protection, and pruning. However, it takes around three years for these plants to start growing grapes.
They undergo phases of dormancy, pruning, and more dormancy before, finally, green clusters of little grapes will start to grow. During this phase, vineyard workers work even closer with the plants–and the environment–to ensure that everything is perfect for their bloom.
Finally, in late summer or early fall, those green clusters will start actually looking like grapes. They become bigger, juicer, and start to get their colors. White grapes will go from dark green to much, much lighter greens during this time.
Once the Brix (sugar levels) in the grapes are at the right level, it’s time for harvesting. White grapes are going to be harvested much earlier than reds, especially if they’re being used within sparkling wine.
Where are They Grown?
White grapes are grown all over the world. Any climate that is suitable for a vineyard, white grapes will be grown. Some white grapes, like viognier, are commonly grown in certain areas of the world like France or Italy, while many are grown right in California.
In general, white grapes are able to be grown in almost all climates as long as they are properly taken care of. Factors like the type of soil, sunlight, temperature, and typical weather all play huge roles in the growth of white grapes, so these must be closely monitored to ensure healthy growth.
That being said, you won’t find vineyards anywhere with extremely unpredictable, harsh weather patterns for that reason exactly. These grapes must be grown in places where they can be stable and not overly affected by the environment. Usually, high-deserts are ideal places for vineyards.
Common White Grapes Varietals
White grapes can be made for a lot of different things. However, easily the most popular use for white grapes is that of white wine.
Different types of wine are made with different types of white grapes, and understanding the difference of each is crucial in your wine and grape-tasting experience.
If you’ve drunk any white wine before, it’s probably Chardonnay. Chardonnay is made from chardonnay grapes that can be found across the globe. Because of this white grape’s ability to be grown practically anywhere, it has become one of the most popular, well-known grape varieties on the market.
Chardonnay grapes are grown and cultivated in places like Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and California. Because of this, the chardonnay grape is often associated with New World wines and light, crisp flavors.
Riesling is an incredibly noble white grape. This cherished white grape prefers to be grown in colder climates in the world, most commonly found in places like Australia and Argentina. However, Riesling grapes may be found in other vineyards with proper environments, too.
This is an attractive grape varietal primarily for the way that ages. While most wine ages well, Riesling grapes age better than most on the market, creating delicious flavors both when first cultivated and many, many years later. Riesling grapes contain a much higher acidity percentage than other white grapes, allowing them to stay preserved even for the longest periods of time.
If you come across a riesling grape during any of your travels– feel lucky! This is one of the sought-after grapes in the bunch.
You’ve also probably heard of Sauvignon Blanc before. Sauv Blanc grape varieties are grown all over the world as well, found in vineyards within the US, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and more. It was first grown in France, within the regions of Loire and Bordeaux, but its popularity has helped it reach much further nowadays.
Sauv Blanc is a popular grape varietal because of its balanced flavor profiles and perfect pairings with most food.
Sauv Blanc is overly pungent nor dramatic in its aromas, though it does depend on the terroir it was grown in. Regardless, this white grape makes for a wonderfully balanced white wine that many people know and love.
Super light and super refreshing, Pinot Gris, otherwise known as Pinot Grigio, is a popular white grape varietal known around the world.
Born in France and then spread across the globe, these traditional white grapes are actually not white at all! Unlike their creamy counterparts, Pinot Gris grapes tend to be grayish (hence their name: “gris” is gray is French).
After Pinot Grigio made its way from France to Italy, it exploded in popularity and quickly became the most popular white wine in all of the United States. While our tastes have expanded a bit since then, this grape is still just as popular today as it was in the 1300s.
What Do White Grapes Taste Like?
When it comes to white grape varietals that are made for wine, each one is going to taste differently depending on the terroir it was grown in. When we say “terroir,” we’re referring to the environment–from soil to air–that it was cultivated and harvested in. All of those things play a direct result in white grape varietal flavors.
White grapes, in general, however, are going to have a much lighter, crisper flavor than red or purple grapes. They have a more refreshing flavor than other grapes, with slightly herbal notes.
While red or purple grapes tend to be on the sweet side, white grapes most often lean on the more tart side. But, again, this will all depend on how your grapes were grown.
Health Benefits of White Grapes
Grapes have serious benefits that stretch further than just giving you a tasty snack or yummy beverage. On their own, white grapes–as well as red, purple, and green–have positive effects on your health that you should know about.
Packed Full of Vitamins
These small fruits are packed full of various vitamins that your body will absolutely love. Known for being a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6, grapes can provide support in myriad ways.
From healthy bone growth to better iron absorption, these small fruits can do it all. White grapes also contain other beneficial minerals like potassium and manganese, too, to give your body added nourishment.
Grapes are Brain and Heart-Healthy
White, red, purple, and green grapes have all shown potential benefits towards both the brain and the heart.
The chemical compounds found within grapes have shown to help regulate blood pressure and improve blood flow to and from the heart. Grapes are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties that can lower oxidative stress, also great for the heart.
Other compounds may simultaneously work to enhance cognition and work with neurotransmitters to ensure proper blood flow and lower risk for oxidation, as well. All together, grapes create for quite a beneficial snack in terms of your brain and heart health.
Like most fruit, grapes are almost entirely water– 82% in fact. This means that if you have a full serving of grapes, not only are you consuming various vitamins and minerals, but you’re getting hydrated as well.
This is great for the inner workings of your body as well as your skin. Your skin can thrive off of the hydration that grapes help provide, giving you a nice, healthy glow. Thanks, grapes!
Why White Grapes?
So, why would someone choose to consume white grapes over any other type of grape? Simply put, it comes down to personal preference. While some may love the flavors that red grapes bring, others may gravitate towards the unique flavor profiles of white grapes instead. They may act differently on the tongue, but, other than that, the only thing that differentiates one grape from another is the color on its outside.
Try Some For Yourself
The only way for you to understand the beauty of a white grape is to try it for yourself. Whether that be in your favorite white wine or you indulge in a bunch of cotton candy grapes at the grocery store is entirely up to you; either way, you’re enjoying the flavors and scents of the unique white grape.