The aim of blending is to make a whole wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. Some grape varieties share a great synergy like classic, timehonoured combinations including blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. On some occasions other unlikely combinations of grape varieties may complement each other beautifully, these blends may be exclusive to a single region or even a producer. Sometimes grapes are blended with other fruit from other regions to produce a wine of greater balance and complexity.
Western Australia is the Australian leader in producing dry white blends. Australia’s most famous Classic Dry White comes from the west and was first made in 1937 by the late Jack Mann at Houghton. Western Australia is the home of Classic Dry White aka Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ‘SSB’ or Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ‘SBS’. The grassiness of the Semillon produced there matches with the tropical nature of the Sauvignon Blanc resulting in a light, zippy white that Australians love. These wines are extremely popular and Classic Dry Whites regularly dominate white wines sales in Australia.
There are some good examples from the eastern states, particularly the cooler climates of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, which are riper and softer due to lower levels of acidity. There are many other great white blends made from other unlikely combinations of complementary grape varieties that are well worth seeking out. Some blends like Semillon and Chardonnay came about largely because of commercial necessity. During the 1980s when the popularity of Chardonnay saw huge growth. The Chardonnay plantings couldn’t keep up with consumer demand for the variety, so it was blended with Semillon to increase the volume and still keep Chardonnay’s presence on the label. The resulting wines were delicious, with many still available today. Some blends are made to a house or brand style, which enables a consistent wine style, every vintage. Whatever the blend, most Australian dry white blends are made to drink young and suit our warm climate when serve chilled.
Western Australia is the home of the Classic Dry White style, typically made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. While there are some stunning modern examples, Houghton White Classic, one of Australia’s pioneering blends, has been one of Australia’s top selling wines since 1937.
Margaret River produces some outstanding dry whites made from blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. These wines typically show dazzling fresh fruit flavours backed by refreshing acidity.
White blends produced in the Yarra Valley tend to be finer, tighter, cooler climate versions of their Western Australian counterparts.
The region’s high altitude and cool-climate produces some of Australia’s finest Sauvignon Blanc which can provide an ideal base for some delicious Sauvignon Blanc Semillon or Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends.
This high altitude region works well for both Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The conditions produce tight, super crisp examples with levels of cleansing acidity.
The large wineries have the size and resources to blend wines from various regions. These blends may be wines that are made in large volume. Multi regional blending also can be used to make consistent wine styles, or improve quality.