Clairette is a light-colored grape variety commonly used for fresh, light, easy-drinking still white blends and sparkling wines. It has been grown and used since the beginning of French viticulture, with recorded history dating as early as 1500s. It once had the reputation of a preferred blending grape and was widely cultivated in the southern France, but the ever-changing tastes and trends in wine have seen this grape replaced with other white varieties.
Wines made from 100% Clairette are prone to early oxidation—a challenge to winemakers and reason for its popularity decline in recent century.
Lately, however, winemakers in Languedoc, Southern Rhone, and Provence have refocused on this historic white grape. Its ability to withstand the region’s hot climate while adding freshness to the wine has been found of great value. Better winemaking techniques have also led to a better understanding of Clairette’s potential over other white grapes.
In the hands of a true artisan winemaker, Clairette proves to be a valuable blending grape that uplifts other white grapes. Through early harvesting and careful vinification, Clairette helps create more balanced white wines with pronounced freshness and subdued acidity, body, and alcohol.
Taste & Pairing
Clairettes are best drunk young, and they pair perfectly with light cheeses, light appetizers, and many seafood and vegetable dishes. Salmon, shellfish, and ginger flavoring also goes well with its fruity freshness and floral notes.
For more food pairing ideas, explore these naturally fermented, organic and sustainable wines made with Clairette from our partner artisan winemakers.
Very pale yellow color with subtle golden reflects. Fruity aromas are very present with a prevalence of white fruits. The attack on the palate is provided by the Chardonnay with a round and full body. The sauvignon adds a mineral tang, bringing balance to the blend. A great long-lasting aromatic persistence with baked aromas. Good with light appetizers and soft creamy cheeses.
It’s color is a clear, white gold. It has a fine nose with a floral, precise character and aromas of white fruit, pear, citrus fruit, boxwood in bloom and a hint of flintlock. In the mouth it is lively and very close to the grape, without artifice – a good length! Good with gnocchi or even pesto pasta.
This wine is pale straw in color with aromas of white flowers, white peach and Meyer lemon. On the palate it is crisp and fresh with limestone and flint. Petit Sale means little salt which describes the local grape Clarette (small and white and round) but also refers to the hint of salinity in the wine. This is good to drink with fish and other seafood.