We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Fume Blanc?

By Brendan McGuigan
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Fume Blanc is a quality white wine made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape in California. It began as the brainchild of renowned winemaker Robert Mondavi, as a way of circumventing the negative image held by this variety of grape at the time.

Before the 1970s, Sauvignon Blanc was given little consideration by most US winemakers, and therefore resulted in poor wines that came to be regarded with disdain by consumers. Virtually all wine of this variety at the time was overly sweet and lacked much texture or nuance. In the late 1960s, however, Robert Mondavi received a particularly fine batch of grapes and decided to attempt to turn them into a wine reaching towards the style of the great Loire Valley wines. Mondavi was particularly inspired by a Pouilly-Fume wine he had tasted from the Loire Valley, and as he was looking for a way to differentiate his Sauvignon Blanc from the sweet low-grade wines of the time, he chose a new name.

Since that time, the grape has become a well-respected in California, and the new term is used to characterize a difference in style. California wines designated as Sauvignon Blanc tend to be in the Bordeaux style, with a great deal of ripeness. Wines that bear the title Fume Blanc are modeled after the Loire Valley wines, with a more subtle elegance about them. The style is considered by many to be one of Mondavi’s earliest great successes. Only two years after founding his now-legendary winery, he transformed one of California’s scorned grapes into one of its most loved, using a single batch of good grapes and a healthy dose of shrewd marketing.

Fume Blanc is an extremely drinkable wine that pairs with a wide assortment of foods, most especially creamy cheeses and fish of all sorts. Like many white wines, it is not built to mature over long periods of time and should be drunk while still young and full of life. Its flavors tend towards tarter fruits such as gooseberry and green apple, with some tropical fruit like melon in some examples.

In the United States, the name is used as a direct synonym with Sauvignon Blanc. Though many wineries attempt to differentiate between styles by using either one name or the other, consumers should be aware that this distinction is voluntary, and not all wineries follow the practice.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon155780 — On Feb 24, 2011

Where do you mention the barrel aging for fume blanc?

By anon45124 — On Sep 14, 2009

In one of his famous stories Arthur Koestler tells how he was going from the Cote d'Azur on 2 September 1939, answering a call-up, and how he and his girl-friend marked their last halt before Paris thus: "We had smoked ham and a bottle of Pouilly fume, the wine that makes you happy and wise like no other wine in the world. We looked at the river, and emptied the bottle to the last drop ...."

By calea — On Jul 01, 2009

I was under the impression that Fume Blanc tended to be drier than Sauvignon Blanc, but I get the impression from this article that that's not necessarily true. I've had some amazing Sauvignon Blanc, so I'll have to try more Fume Blancs.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.