Fill your glass with sunshine

This article was originally published in May 2016

As the temperature rises and the sun appears, we naturally turn to white wine for refreshment. Here’s a look at three varietals that provide a ton of flavor and offer easy drinkability. The wines we’ve selected are excellent examples of the grapes they represent, and offer a balance of local options with European counterparts.


Chenin blanc

A favorite of sommeliers and well-traveled tasters everywhere, chenin blanc is the signature grape of the Loire Valley’s Vouvray appellation. It produces wines of incredible beauty, depth and finesse, with a rich character that boasts orchard flowers, pears, ripe yellow apples and citrus.

L’Ecole no. 41 Chenin Blanc

Made entirely of Yakima Valley fruit, this wine is a Washington gem, hidden in plain sight. It offers fresh, vibrant aromas and flavors of white flowers, peach, lemon curd and passion fruit.

Christophe Thorigny Vouvray

An exuberant, lovely example of chenin blanc, this wine bursts with aromas and flavors of yellow peach, quince, citrus and dried honey. It’s sustainably farmed in Vouvray’s chalky limestone soils.


Grüner Veltliner

How do you describe this Austrian native? Think dry, dry riesling meets sauvignon blanc. Flavors and aromas of apples, pears and lemons mingle with a charming herbaceous note and dash of white pepper.

W.T. Vintners Grüner Veltliner

From one of our favorite new producers in the Columbia Gorge, this gorgeous wine is bursting with aromas and flavors of just-ripe peach and melon fruit, with accents of lemon balm, white pepper and flinty minerality.

Pratsch Grüner Veltliner 1 liter

The Pratsch family is passionate about organic farming; they combine innovation with tradition to produce wines that are true to both grape and place at their Austrian estate. This organic wine delivers brilliant freshness wrapped around a core of fruit-driven minerality.


Pinot gris / Pinot grigio

Gris and grigio both mean “gray,” referring to this grape’s pink/pale red/blue color at harvest. When lovingly farmed, the grape produces wine that offers generosity, focus and superb expression of terroir.

Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris “Reserve”

At the crossroads of verve and abundance lies this wine, showing crisp notes of peach and tropical fruit with cool minerality and bright acidity at its center. Biodynamically grown in the Willamette Valley, it’s Oregon pinot gris at its finest.

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio

This biodynamically grown wine is a taste of purity, vivacity, balance, place and elegance, from one of Italy’s most dynamic, forward-thinking producers. It’s proof the best wines exist beyond trends and that quality is timeless.

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