Colombard Wine Grape: A Guide

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Have you heard about Colombard Wines? Do you want to know about the taste and other characteristics before trying this white wine? If yes, you are in the right place. Colombard has become a preferred choice for all those who love white wine. You will find it mild compared to Chardonnay and Sauvignon. It will lack the star power, but it can be the best for those looking for a light body and neutral flavor.

Colombard has secured its place in the wine world. If you want to have this wine, you will have to understand its characteristics. We will answer all your queries in the following. We will discuss the origin, taste, and foods you can pair with this wine. You will get all the desired help to go ahead confidently.

What Is Colombard?

You might have come across this word. Yes, it is a French white wine grape. Also, it has an exceptional blending ability. The blending characteristic makes it super versatile and beneficial. Mostly, people use it alongside Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc, Armagnac, and Cognac. This grape is well-appreciated for its neutrality and mild taste. The neutrality makes it well suited for different purposes. Currently, it has become a preferred choice for white wines. Wine manufacturers in South West France, California, and South Africa use Colombard to make refreshing white wines. Colombard can make wines light and reviving.

Also, grapes have the potential to retain acidity in dry and hot environments. This unique quality makes grapes useful in Central valley and other parts of the world. The success of high blending grape wines reached more heights in Southern France. Many preferred white crisp wines over bitter ones. Also, it started appearing as de Gascogne’s title under the IGP notes.

The benefits of Colombard inspired many countries to plant it on their lands. South Africa supported plantation but gave it a local name, colombar. However, a significant part of the plantation goes to brandy production. California also started planting Colombard, but it uses white grapes in bulk wine production. Australia focused on a different variety, and some other parts also tried variations to make it more adoptable. We can take the example of Israel and Thailand. However, Colombard is not widely available in these parts.


Colombards are long tubular clusters of white grapes. Also, they feature long peduncles in a conical shape. These grapes are in medium size with an oval shape. Also, they will have a yellow-greenish tinge. Ripen Colombards are acidic, and they will have the slightest sugars. The shoots of the Colombard are long with medium to large-sized leaves. Leaves will appear bushy on the lower surface. Also, the shades are pink-red with green veins. The unique characteristics of Colombard make it different from other grapes.

Where Does It Grow?

Colombard had its origin in Charentes. Even if it originated in Southwest France, it is available in many parts across the globe. People across the world cultivate Colombard. Here are some places where Colombard has received the desired recognition.

  • Charentes: As mentioned earlier, Colombard originated in Charentes. Yes, this white grape belongs to a place that is home to Cognac. It is one of those three grapes used in the production of distilled wine. Wine manufacturers find it useful since it is less acidic. However, it is more alcoholic than Cognac grapes. This distinct quality contributes to its extensive use in the wine world. Also, it is neutral and can complement any flavor and taste. But the alcoholic nature makes it least preferred for distilling.
  • Gascony: Gascony has a remarable contribution to the usage of the Colombard. Initially, it was using Colombard to produce brandy, including Armagnac. Currently, it uses Colombard in vins de pays under the Cotes de Gascogne note. Also, it grows more plants compared to other parts of the world. In addition to vins de pays, Colombard is available in the Floc de Gascogne aperitif.
  • California: Colombard had received a lot of appreciation in California. It was locally famous as the French Colombard. The dry climate favored the plantation. Also, California used this white grape in varietal wines and fruity blends. However, this grape is less significant in California now. During the 1980s, it achieved the most success. Currently, Americans use Colombard in inexpensive jug wines and white blends.
  • South Africa: As mentioned earlier, Colombard has a local name in South Africa. They call it colombar, and this locally named colombar occupies around 11.5% percent of total planting in South Africa. Therefore, South Africa is the top producer of the Colombard. South Africa uses this white grape in semi-dry white wines.
  • Bordeaux: Colombard is a highly regarded and the most appreciated white blend in Bordeaux. It is one of the twelve permitted grapes as well.
  • Australia: Colombard is a popular blend in Australia. You will find a significant Colombard planting in Australia. The manufacturers use Colombard to blend with sauvignon blanc and Chenin blanc.

In addition to all these countries, you will find Colombard production in many other parts of the world. Wine manufacturers produce Colombard wines in different styles with exotic and tropical fruit flavors.

What Does It Taste Like?

You will find the taste different from other wines. Colombard wines will not taste bitter, and they might not be the best choice if you like bitter wines. Colombard has a neutral flavor, low tannin, and a light body. From these characteristics, you can imagine the taste. Also, the acidity makes them tart and crispy. Therefore, you can mix it with other flavorful white grapes, including sauvignon, chardonnay, and Chenin blanc.

The tasting notes of this wine are bitter almond, peach and sweet melon, and tart green apple. If you love all these notes, Colombard wine is worth trying.

Colombard Food Pairing

Colombard wines are tart and crisp. These qualities make them an excellent pairing for fish, ceviche, and sushi. Also, you can pair this white wine with light vegetables. It can complement any cheese plate with Gruyere or cheddar. Yes, the neutral nature makes Colombard food-friendly. You can try many of your favorite foods. Here are some suitable pairing options.

Cheap but Crispy: Supermarket Blends

The Colombard supermarket blend is super versatile. Also, you will not have to spend more on this blend. You can buy either California or South of France mix without hurting your budget. You can have one of those blends and add it to your cheese, bread, and charcuterie. You can go with a colder one to have a better taste. Moreover, you can consider this pair for your outdoor activities.

Simple but Delicious: Tangy New World

You will find some Australian and South African Colombard similar to Sauvignon blanc. They will be exceptional with racy, tangy, acidic, and exotic fruit flavors. Also, you can pair them with your chips and fish. You will enjoy every sip and can have more fun with your favorite traditional chips.

Impressive Flavor: Decadent Duck

Yes, it is not a wine. But you will appreciate the flavor and taste. We can say that it is the best expression of your French Colombard. However, you might prefer to have it after dinner. But it can be the perfect match for your favorite honey-glazed duck. The flavors and aromatics of drink ad food will complement each other. However, you cannot have it every day. Whenever you want a treat, you can enjoy it! You will love your choice!

You can sip Colombard on a hot day and accompany it with Thai dishes, including grilled pork strips and spicy papaya salad. You can try many dishes based on your preferences. But make sure that the ingredients complement the flavor of your wine.

What Makes Colombard Wine Unique

Colombard is neutral, crispy, and lighter compared to other wines. Also, it is inexpensive and has a great blending ability. Apart from the flavor and costs, you can expect many health benefits. It is worth mentioning that white wines have more antioxidants, and Colombard is a white wine. Therefore, you can expect weight loss benefits. It will contain resveratrol, quercetin, and epicatechin. All these will promote weight loss.

Additionally, Colombard wine will help with improved memory. It can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It will contribute to your heart health as well. If you drink white wine, you can minimize the risk of heart problems by 25%. Also, Colombard will make your lungs healthy. It has the necessary nutrients to boost your lung health. It will stop the growth of free radicals and prevent lung issues.

Colombard contains fiber and potassium, and both can reduce blood pressure. Also, its anti-inflammatory properties can treat allergies and boost your immunity.

Apart from all these, you will experience reduced hangovers while drinking Colombard wines. It is mild, crispy, and less bitter. The congeners in wines cause hangovers. Also, they contribute to the taste, color, and aroma of your drink. Colombard contains low levels of congeners. Therefore, the impact will be less.

Colombard grapes have an excellent blending ability, and you can find them mostly in white wines. However, now you can also find Colombard in red wines. Some manufacturers use this variety along with different blends.

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