Bacchus: The Aromatic Hidden Gem

Immerse yourself in the world of Bacchus, an often-underestimated white grape variety that carries a unique allure for wine enthusiasts. Recognised for its high aromatic intensity and its ability to flourish in cooler climates, Bacchus offers a captivating alternative for those seeking something beyond the realm of mainstream white wine varieties.

A Brief History

Bacchus is a relatively young grape variety, having been developed in Germany in the 1930s. It is a cross between (Silvaner x Riesling) and Müller-Thurgau. Despite its German origins, Bacchus struggled to gain a significant foothold in its home country. It wasn’t until the grape was introduced to England in the 1970s that it began to find a true sense of identity and a platform to shine.


Bacchus is a high-yielding, early ripening variety that thrives in cooler climates. Its ability to attain high sugar levels while retaining a balanced acidity makes it an appealing choice for vineyard owners in regions where achieving full ripeness can be challenging. Bacchus wines are typically consumed young when their aromatic intensity is at its peak.

Flavour Profile

Bacchus wines are praised for their high aromatic intensity and pronounced flavour profiles. They often present a diverse array of flavours, including elderflower, grapefruit, gooseberry, and hints of tropical fruits like pineapple and melon. The wine can also exhibit subtle herbaceous characteristics, drawing parallels with the renowned Sauvignon Blanc.

Different Styles of Wine

Primarily, Bacchus is made into a dry, still white wine to emphasise its aromatic profile. Occasionally, it can also be used in the production of off-dry or sweet wines, particularly in Germany. Regardless of style, Bacchus wines are best enjoyed while they are young and the aromatic components are at their most expressive.

Wine Making and Maturation Options

Due to the aromatic nature of Bacchus, winemakers generally aim to preserve the grape’s fresh, fruity qualities. The use of stainless steel tanks for fermentation is common, helping to maintain the variety’s aromatic character. Bacchus is typically not aged in oak, with the focus being on freshness and fruit expression rather than complexity or textural development.

Important Regions

While Bacchus has roots in Germany, it is England where the grape has truly found its place, particularly in the cool vineyards of the southern regions like Sussex and Kent. The cool English climate allows the Bacchus grape to fully express its aromatic potential, resulting in expressive, distinctive wines that are gaining increasing recognition.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Given its aromatic nature and generally high acidity, Bacchus wines pair exceptionally well with a variety of dishes. They complement foods with strong herbal components, such as salads and green vegetable dishes, and are also well-matched with seafood, particularly shellfish. The wine’s herbaceous undertones can also work well with lightly spiced Asian dishes.

In one sentence: Embrace the allure of Bacchus, the aromatic gem that promises a fresh, vibrant, and decidedly different wine drinking experience.

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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