These regions produce benchmark white wines.

By Ray Isle
August 01, 2010

Mosel, Germany | Burgundy, France | Loire Valley, France
Friuli, Italy | Marlborough, New Zealand

video New Zealand's Intense Sauvignon Blanc

Mosel, Germany

The slate soils of the Mosel River valley produce more finely nuanced Rieslings than anywhere else.

Benchmark Bottle

2008 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Kabinett ($55).

slideshow  Off-Dry Riesling Pairings

Burgundy, France

Burgundy's Côte de Beaune, with its gentle limestone slopes, is the original (and still the best) source for elegant, layered Chardonnay.

Benchmark Bottle

2007 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault ($100).

slideshow  Burgundy Pairings

Loire Valley, France

The cool, damp climate brings out Chenin Blanc's complexity.

Benchmark Bottle

2006 Domaine Huet Le Mont Sec Vouvray ($30).

slideshow  15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairings

Friuli, Italy

This hilly region, lodged between the Adriatic and the Alps, produces Pinot Grigio (along with less well-known varieties, such as Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Picolit) with surprising minerality and grace.

Benchmark Bottle

2008 Jermann Pinot Grigio ($24).

slideshow  Pinot Grigio Pairings

Marlborough, New Zealand

The New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc—crisp, peppery and intense—reaches its apogee here.

Benchmark Bottle

2009 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($26).

slideshow  Sauvignon Blanc Pairings

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New Zealand's Intense Sauvignon Blanc: