Verdelho is a white grape variety that originates from the Northern Atlantic island of Maderia. Maderia is famous for its unique style of fortified wine, which is principally produced from Verdelho grapes. In Australia Verdelho has predominantly been used in the production of white table wines.
Having its origins in a quite a hot climate, Verdelho has found itself to be well suited to some of the warmer grape growing regions of Australia. In particular there are widespread plantings of Verdelho in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and the Swan Valley in Western Australia. More recently there have additional plantings in Cowra, Riverland, Murray Valley and Bordertown.
The are two distinct wines styles produced in Australia using Verdelho. The more traditional style is using little or no oak in the winemaking process and producing a light to medium bodied fruit driven wine. As young wines they are fresh and lively and have flavours of tropical fruits, honeysuckle, spice and citrus. These wines may also age particularly well and can be kept for many years if cellared correctly. Some good examples of this style are Richmond Grove Verdelho, Andrew Harris Reserve Verdelho and of course Wyndham Estate Bin 111 Verdelho.
The other style of Verdelho being produced in Australia is the richer more full bodied version that has a significant amount of barrel fermentation and oak maturation. These wines are similar to full bodied Chardonnay but also have the distinct fruit characteristics of Verdelho.
The spicy characters in Semillon ideally complement the intense flavours of Thai and Malaysian dishes.
In short you can probably think of Verdelho as lying somewhere between Semillon and Chardonnay in terms of fruit characters, weight and flavour. If you are looking for something new or different to try in a white wine then Verdelho is definitely worth a taste.
Learn more about the varieties of grapes that make great wine visit Wyndham Estate