English Grapes

Seyval Blanc

Seyval Blanc is England’s fifth most planted grape. Well suited for the English climate it’s a versatile grape that’s often used in blends in English Sparkling Wine and still wines. Fresh, crisp and very quaffable.

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What is Seyval Blanc?

The Seyval Blanc grape is a hybrid varietal created in France in the early 1920s that ripens early and does well in cooler climates.  It’s a green-skinned, disease resistant grape and is grown mainly on the East Coast of America and in England. With 4.5% of English vineyards planted to Seyval Blanc it’s the 5th most grown grape in the UK.

What is English Seyval Blanc?

English Seyval Blanc is a very versatile grape that gives winemakers a lot of scope for creativity.  It can be used in English Sparkling Wine or still wines and stands up to ageing in oak.  It’s worth noting that EU laws don’t allow Seyval Blanc to be used in quality wine production and this may have some bearing on the quality perception. That said, some English winemakers are producing Seyval Blanc.  Heron Farm Vineyard in Devon won a silver medal at the 2022 Wine GB Awards, although this was the only single varietal Seyval Blanc on the score sheet – out of a total of 291 medal winning wines. In the meantime, in English wine production it’s primarily used for blending, and you will likely find it in English white and English rosé wines – especially those around the £10 to £15 mark.

What does English Seyval Blanc taste like?

Seyval Blanc tends towards the fresher, crisper style of wine with notes of citrus, apple and hay.  When used for blending it’s likely the wines will also be in this light, refreshing style. Think Chablis or Chenin Blanc by way of comparison.

What are the best food pairings for English Seyval Blanc?

The bright and delicate flavours of Seyval Blanc and Seyval Blanc blends are great with spring and summer foods, particularly dishes like grilled chicken salad, mussels, or pan-fried cod.

If you like a slightly sweeter Seyval Blanc, you could pair with spicy chicken wings or curry.

If pairing Seyval Blanc with English cheese opt for milder cheeses with Alpine vibes, such as Mayfield. Herbed cheeses such as a delicate goat’s cheese with dill work well, as do hard cheeses with nettles – Lyburn Garlic and Nettle is a great option.