One of the great white varietals of France, Sémillon was at one point the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux. Transplanted to many parts of the world, Sémillon is a very vigorous vine that is resistant to most diseases, mildews and rot. Low in acidity and heavy with peaches, figs, mangoes and viscosity, Sémillon is often blended with the more crisp and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc in both dry versions and sweet versions that have been affected by Botrytis Vinifera, or Noble Rot. From its home in the Graves (Pessac-Léognan) region of Bordeaux, Sémillon spread to South Africa and Australia where it was once the most important white varietal of these countries.
Today Sémillon still has a home in Bordeaux though it is not as widely planted as it once was. Here it can acheive greatness in both dry versions and the Botrytis examples from Sauternes which are some of the greatest and longest-lived sweet wines in the world. Also one of a few different varietals that are used to create the Bual style of Madeira. Other fine examples come from the Hunter valley of Australia where for a long time it was known as Hunter Riesling, as well as in Chile and Argentina. Sémillon may also be found in California and Washington in dry and sweet styles, though it can take on an herby character if not fully ripe.