Clairette grape variety for white wines in France

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Clairette grape variety
Wine glossary

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Clairette is a white grape that is widely used in southern France to give wines delicacy and finesse. It is one of the grapes permitted in the production of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines.
The main areas of production for this slightly oblong grape are Provence, the Rhone Valley and Languedoc. Some appellations even carry the name of this grape (unusually for France). These include Clairette de Die near Lyon and Clairette de Bellegarde and Clairette de Languedoc in the Languedoc.
Clairette is one of the permitted grape varieties for the Ventoux (where Clairette, Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc and Roussanne are permitted), Cotes du Rhone (where the Ventoux varieties plus Marsanne, Viognier, Ugni blanc and Picpoul blanc are also allowed) and Luberon (which has the same white varieties as the Cotes du Rhone plus the addition of Vermentino or Rolle as it is known locally).
Clairette is also one of the three permitted varieties for the noble white wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The Clairette produces the lively, lemony, fruity flavour whereas the Roussanne and Bourboulenc provide complexity, longevity and length.
 
     
     
     


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