These regions produce benchmark white wines.

By Ray Isle
Updated March 31, 2015
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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).

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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).

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Loire Valley, France

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

Benchmark Bottle

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

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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).

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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).

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More White Wine Tips:

Beat-the-Heat Wines
Secret White-Wine Superstars
A Case Study

White Pinot Noir: A Case Study

Drink It Now or Cellar It?
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Roasted Lobsters with Verjus and Tarragon

New Zealand's Intense Sauvignon Blanc: