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Wine Grapes

Please note, listed here is general information about a large number of grape varieties irrespective of whether products made with the grapes are on sale. The grape varieties of products on sale are listed on each product page.

  • - (Pinot Blanc)
    - (Pinot Gris)
    - (Pinot Noir)
    - Albarino
    - Auxerrois Blanc
    - Bachus
    - Barbera

    Barbera

    • Origins: Barbera is an ancient red wine grape variety in Italy dating back to the thirteenth century. Recent DNA evidence suggests that it may be related to the French-Spanish vine Mouvedre. After scandals in 1985, which involved Barbera wines, planting of the grape variety declined and the Montepulciano surpassed it. Barbera is now Italy's third largest grape variety after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. It is mostly grown in the Piemont region but also in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Sardinia.
    • Synonyms: Barbera has a number of synonyms, most of them carry the denomination "Barbera" as part of their names. Others are Besgano, Cosses Barbusen, Gaietto, Lombardesca, Perricone, Pignatello and Ughetta.
    • Countries: Italian immigrants brought Barbera to the New World. In South America, it is grown in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. It is also found in Greece, Romania and the coastal zone of Slovenia. In Australia, Barbera is especially grown in Victoria. It is the fifth most widely planted variety in California.
    Barbera vines are vigorous and produce well in a wide variety of soils but does best in less fertile ones. It is highly resistant to fungal diseases and is naturally high in acidity, which it retains well even if grown in hot climates. It ripens about two weeks earlier than the Nebbiolo which is welcome by vintners as they are very busy during the harvesting season. It is not surprising that, with all its attributes. the grape variety is popular with growers. Barbera grapes are high in anthocyanin, but are low in tannins. The wines are deep, purplish black in their youth, but tend to early browning and lightening as they age. Ageing in oak barrels which was not the custom previously but is now done more often has helped to stabilize color and provide structure to the wine which is a welcome feature, especially when Barbera is produced as a single varietal wine.
    Barbera is mostly used for blending, its neutral aroma, deep color and high acidity predestine it for this traditional purpose. Yet, when cultivated in temperate areas, cropped for quality, aged in oak barrels which add a touch of vanilla and smoky or toasty notes, the wine exhibits an attractive aroma of ripe red fruit, currant or blackberries which make it an excellent wine on its own.

    - Blauer Portugieser
    - Blends: Bordeaux Style
    - Blends: Champagne Style
    - Blends: Rhone Style
    - Cabernet Franc

    Cabernet Franc

    • Origin:  Cabernet Franc is a black grape (red wine) variety.  It is thought to have originated in the area of Libourne (right bank of Bordeaux) where it was recorded for the first time at the end of the 18th century.  It is, however, older than that, as Cardinal Richelieu brought cuttings to the Loire in the 17th century where the variety is still planted today.  DNA evidence has shown that it is parent (together with Sauvignon Blanc) of the Cabernet Sauvignon.  It may also be related to the Merlot, Malbec and Carmenere grape varieties. 
    • Synonyms:  It is also known as Bordo, Breton, Bouchet, Cabernet Gris, Carmenet, Grosse Vidure, Messange Roughe, Noir Dur, Petit Vidure, Véron, Trouchet Noir and by other synonyms.
    • Countries:  As one of the mostly planted varieties in the world the variety can be found in Europe, the New World, China and many other countries.
    Cabernet Franc is mostly used in blends yet single variety Cabernet Franc wines are also produced, notably in the Loire Valley of France as Anjou-Villages AOC/AOP and to a lesser extent in California and other regions.  The famous "Bordeaux blend"is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and/or Cabernet France and/or Petit Verdot and/or sometimes Malbec.  It shares many of the same phenolic and aroma compounds with the Cabernet Sauvingon but it is nonethless different.  The skin is thinner, its color is lighter, it ripens earlier and it has a lower degree of acidity yet it too produces intense and rich wines.  It is more aromatic than the Cabernet Sauvignon, more spicy and known for its pronounced perfume and notes of raspberries, black currants and violets.  It is somewhat less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon and in general shows more herbal and vegetative notes.  The wines also tend to be smoother.

    - Cabernet Sauvignon

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    • Origin:  Cabernet Sauvignon, although one of the best known grape variety around the world, it is also one of the youngest "natural" ones.  In 1996 DNA evidence established that it was the result of a natural, single chance crossing between the Cabernet Franc and the Sauvignon blanc variety which apparently happened in the 17th century.  Since it has become the most widely planted red wine grape variety in the world.
    • Synonyms:  The grape variety has many synonyms, among them the following - Bordo, Bouchet, Bouschet Sauvignon, Breton, Cabernet Petit, Petit Bouschet, Petit Cabernet, Petite Vidure, Vidure, Vidure Sauvignonne.
    • Countries:  Producing many of Bordeaux's greatest wines, Cabernet Sauvignon (the main part of the famous "Bordeaux blend") became recognized internationally for its qualities.  Today there is practically no major wine region in the world where the grape variety is not grown.  Some critics even call it the "colonizer" as it often replaces traditional varieties.

    The rise in popularity of the Cabernet Sauvignon is due to a number of qualities it possesses;  its great potential to age, its thick skin which ensures wines of deep color, high extract and strong tannins.  And its good resistance to most grape diseases except powdery mildew.  It also lends itself very well to aging in oak, which in turn softens its tannins, making it more accessible when consumed young.  Young the wines often are spicy with green bell pepper flavors especially if the grapes were not completely ripe.  Mature wines often have cedar and mushroom flavors and in warmer climates of mint or eucalyptus.
    Cabernet Sauvignon can be grown in a variety of climatic conditions, but to ripen fully to its best it needs a warm (not hot) climate.  It ripens late (about two weeks later than the Merlot).  In some regions, climate will be more important than soil.  In Bordeaux where it is often harvested before it is fully ripe, it is blended with Merlot and other grape varieties (the most famous Bordeaux blend).  The wines are generally structured, austere when young and need time to mature.  In California's warmer, more even climate Cabernet varietal wines are common with a more pronounded expression of fruit but with less acidity.  These wines are often the favorite in a wine tasting, but the French style is often preferred to accompany food.

    - Carignan

    Carignan

    • Origin:  Carignan is widely planted in the south of France and is still the second largest variety grown in France.  It is thought to have originated in Carinena, Spain, perhaps as early as 50 BC when the Romans developed vine growing in the area.  Later it became part of the Rioja blend.  French growers heavily planted the variety in Algeria, exporting the low cost wine to France.  When, in 1962, Algeria became independent Carignan was widely planted in the Languedoc area to produce high volume/low cost table wines.  As the taste of consumers changed and the consumption of table wines declined the variety is being pulled out (as in Spain) and replaced by more distinctive varieties to produce higher grade wines.
    • Synonyms:  In France the variety is also called Carignan Noir, Bois Dur, Catalan or Plant de Ledenon.  In Spain is called Cariñena, Carinyena Mazuelo, Tinto Mazuelo and Crujillon.  In California it is Carignane, in Italy Gragnano and in Portugal Pinot Evara.
    • Countries:  In Europe the variety is planted in the south of France, Spain and Italy.  In the New World it is grown in warm climate countries i.e. South Africa, Uruguay, Argentine, Chile, Mexico and California.  It also continues to be grown in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
    Carignan grows best in hot and dry climate regions with long growing seasons.  The variety is vigorous producing up to 200 hl/ha but is sensitive to rot, powdery mildew, downy mildew and grape berry moth.  The plant grows thick stalks that make it difficult to harvest them mechanically.  The wines produced are high in color, tannins and acidity but lack distinctive flavors or taste.  They are essentially used in blends.  However, old vines, careful plant management and adding small amounts of Grenach and/or Cinsault and/or Mourvedre can produce excellent varietal wines with character, finesse and elegance.

    - Carménère

    Carménère

    • Origin:  Carmenere is a member of the Bordeaux family of six grape varieties along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  DNA testing established the grape to be a crossing of Cabernet Franc and Gros Cabernet, the latter variety now extinct.  In Bordeaux, Camenere is also called Grande Vidure while the synonym for Cabernet Sauvignon is Vidure.  Some suggest that Carmenere is the descendent of "Biturica," a grape variety much praised by the Romans which originated in "Iberia" (now Spain and Portugal) and was planted in the Bordeaux area at the time. 
    • Synonyms:  The only synonym is Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym.
    • Countries:  Very few Carmenere grapes are now planted in France.  It has become what might be called "the Chiliean variety" where over 8,000 hectares are planted with it.  Small amounts are also grown in Italy and in California.  But the success of the variety in Chile has resulted in a worldwide new interest in the vine.  Further expansion of it is expected.

    Carmenere is a difficult grape variety to grow.  It needs perfect conditions to produce its best.  It requires warmth to ripen fully yet ripens early.  It buds early which makes it vulnerable to develop "coulure" (poor fruit development).  It needs well-drained soil and does not support rain during the ripening.  Wet soil and not completely ripe fruit results in strong heraceous and green pepper notes.  Yet, its relatively low level of acidity and tannins are a plus when the grapes ripen under ideal conditions making for a complex and rounded wine, perfect to be consumed young.  Even though, it probably shows best in combinations with either Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or Merlot.
    Carmenere was widely used in Bordeaux before the phylloxera louse destroyed most vines in Europe.  After 1875 Carmenere was not replanted and replaced, mainly with Merlot.  Luckily the grape was exported to Chile around 1850, a time when French varieties became popular and replaced the Spanish grape varieties grown there.  The grape not only found a second home, it found ideal growing conditions and thrived in a country with little rainfall, a warm but not hot climate and no phylloxera.

    - Chardonnay

    Chardonnay

    • Origin:  For long Chardonnay's origin was not known.  As it was traditionally planted with Pinot varieties, Chardonnay was assumed to be part of the Pinot family.  It came as a surprise when DNA tests, in 1999, established that this "noble grape" was natural crossing between a pinot grape (not yet established which one) and a so-called "peasant grape," the Gouais Blanc.  And that, as a result, the Chardonnay is related to the Riesling.  The Gouais Blanc (called Weisser Heunisch in Germany) was well known to peasants in Germany and France during the Middle Ages.  Its origins have been traced to Austria.
    • Synonyms:  There are so many synonyms for Chardonnay that it is impossible to list all.  Besides, as the variety has now become very "marketable" these synonyms are used less and less.
    • Countries:  Chardonnay's home country is France where centuries of learning and experience have resulted in producing Chardonnay wines without equal.  It is the second most widely planted white grape variety there.  By now the variety has been world famous and is grown in all major and minor vine growing countries.  As the grape adapts itself very well to the prevalent soil and as wine makers in each country cater to the varying tastes of their customers there are many different styles and qualities of Chardonnay wines.  It should be noted that Chardonnay is also one of the main varieties used in producing Champagne and other sparkling wines.
    The Chardonnay grape is reputed for its ease of planting and cellaring adaptiveness.  It will grow well in a large variety of soils and climates, but it produces best in chalk, marl and limestone soils and prefers a temperate climate.  Chardonnay wines are essentilly neutral in flavors and taste, yet they are generally full-bodied, smooth and show a good sugar to acidity balance.  The soil imparts the character while the wine maker develops the style in the cellar.  Styles range from crisp, dry and flinty for a (good) Chablis to rich, buttery, rounded, powerful and minerally to fruity with tropical and (often too much) oak flavors.  Though popular for its ease of planting and producing stylish wines the variety needs care; it is vigorous requiring aggressive pruning, it has a tendency to lose acidity when ripening and it is susceptible to a variety of grape diseases and rot, and, as it buds early, to frost.

    - Chasselas
    - Chenin Blanc

    Chenin Blanc

    • Origin:  Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape variety from the Loire Valley of France.  It probably originated in the Anjou wine region sometime in the 9th century and traveled from there to Touraine by the 15th century.  DNA tests made during the last years indicate that the grape variety may be a parent to the Sauvignon Blanc.
    • Synonyms:  Chenin Blanc has many synonyms.  The most widely used are: Pineau de la Loire, Pinot d'Anjou, Pinot de Savennieres, Gros-Pineau de Vouvray, Pinot Nantais, Plant d'Ajou, Steen (in South Africa).
    • Countries:  Chenin Blanc is widely planted in South Africa, most probably it was planted there first in the 17th century.  It can also be found in many other countries, California, China, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina among others.  But it has found a truly second home in South Africa, where now more than twice as much Chenin Blanc is planted than in France.

    Chenin Blanc is a versatile grape variety and lends itself to be used for blending or to produce premium quality wines, the style and quality very much depending on the growing conditions and its intended usage.  Its inherent acidity shows through everywhere it grows.
     
    It is intended for blending or for producing sparkling wines and its ability to provide high yields, a high degree of acidity and a neutral tone come in handy.  In fertile soils the variety may produce up to 240hl/ha.  In its home, the Loire valley in France, growth is limited to 40-50hl/ha.  Premium producers harvest even less.  Such wines truly show what the Chenin Blanc grape is capable of, namely wines ranging from aromaic dry wines to fruity, semi-sweet and sweet wines with intense flavors of plum, angelica and honey with underlying acidity and mineral tones.  In great years the grapes can be left on the vines to develop noble rot producingan intense, viscous dessert wine which lasts a long time and improves considerably with age.  The use of aging the wine in oak barrels is up to the individual producer, it is more common among New World producers.

    - Cinsault
    - Coratina
    - Corvina
    - Dolcetto

    Dolcetto

    • Origin:  Dolcetto is a red wine grape variety.  It is grown mostly in the Piedmont region of Italy and there on sites which are not well suited for Barbera or Nebiollo.  Although it is a dry wine, "Dolcetto" means the little sweet one; the reason for this name has not been established.  Some believe it originated in France, others claim the grape was first cultivated in the village of Dogliani.  It was first recorded in Italy in the 16th century.
    • Synonyms:  There are many synonyms for Dolcetto, the ones mostly used are Bourdon Noir, Bignonia, Charbonno, Chasselas Noir, Dolceta Nero, Dolcino Nero, Dolsin Nero and Douce Noire.
    • Countries:  Most Dolcetto is found in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy.  The vine is not much grown in other countries except to some extent in California and Australia where it was first planted in 1860.  In both cases the vines were brough over by Italian immigrants.

    Wines produced from Dolcetto grapes are dry.  They have low acidity levels, are fruity and should be drunk young (within 2 years).  The wine is dark colored and often a bit bitter and tannic.  Typical flavors are black cherry, licorice and prune.  Two grades are produced: a DOC Dolcetto di Dogliano and a DOCG Dolcetto di Dogliano Superiore.  The latter wines must be aged for at least one year, the growing area is restricted and the yield per hectare is also reduced.  Dolcetto wines are light and easy drinking wines meant for everyday food, pizza, pasta and the like.

    - Dornfelder

    Dornfelder

    • Origin:  Dornfelder is (by now) a new classic German dark-skinned red wine grape variety. It was created in 1955 by August Herold and derived from crossing the varieties Helfensteiner (Fruehburgunder x Trollinger) and Heroldrebe (Blauer Portuieser x Lemberger). Both varieties were also created by him. It is the most important new red wine grape variety created in Germany and wines made with it have become very popular. Over 8.000 hectares are now planted with the variety (mainly in the Pfalz, Rheinhessen, Nahe and Wuertemberg regions) which puts the grape in 2nd place, after the famous Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir).  
    • SynonymsThere are no synonyms for the variety
    • Countries:  The variety is not yet widely grown outside Germany but is planted in small quantities in the UK, in colder locations in the USA and some other countries.  

    Dornfelder grows well in cooler climates and is thus well suited to be planted in areas hitherto thought to be best for white wines. This dark skin variety is capable of producing excellent “International Style” red wines of a deep colour, with good acidity, structure and tannins. It benefits from ageing in traditional oak barrels. The variety is easier to grow than other German red wine varieties and also produces higher (natural) alcohol levels. The Dornfelder can grow vigourously but usually is contained so as to produce higher quality wines. Most Dornfelder are dry while some are off-dry. It can be said that two styles exist: one to be sold young with fruit forward aromas of Cherry, Elderberry and Blackberry, the other raised in oak barrels, well structured, with pronounced tannins and which benefits from being aged for a time.

    - Fendant
    - Folle Blanche
    - Friulano

    Friulano

    • Origin:  Friulano is an ancient white wine grape variety. The variety is believed to originate from the southwest of France(where it is called Sauvignon Vert or Sauvignonasse). Plantes in Italy hundreds of years ago it has been thriving in its adopted country ever since while it is practically not grown in France anymore. Records in Friuli mention the variety already in the year 1600. Until quite recently it was called Tokai Friulano but in 2007 the European Union Court ruled that the name "Tocai" may lead to confusion with the (famous) Hungarian sweet wine "Tokay". As a result the name was shortened to Friulano only.
    • Synonyms:  Despite its long history the grape has only a few synonyms i.e. Sauvignonasse, Tokaj, Jakot and Sauvignon Vert.
    • Countries:  Over 90% of the grape variety produced is grown in Italy(mostly in Friuli), less than 10% are grown in other countries such as USA, Slovenia, Argentina, Romania, Chile and Australia.
     
    The Friuli region  offers the grape variety excellent, not to say ideal growing conditions. During the season the days are warm while the nights are mostly cool. The wines grow slowly at temperatures varying between 22℃~25℃, slight rainfall is regular. Soil on the hillsides is composed of marl and, sandstone while sand and gravel prevails in the valleys. Depending upon the style of the estate producing the wine Friulano may be lighter or fuller-bodied. They are always crisp, well balanced, mostly medium bodied with flavours of peach, pears and apples, mineral in taste and a refreshing acidity. Very food friendly they go well with prosciutto, seafood and fish, pork as well as Japanese and Asian dishes.

  • - Fruehburgunder
    - Furmint
    - Gamay

    Gamay

    • Origin:  Gamay is a red grape variety that nowadays is mostly known for producing Beaujolais.  It is, however, an ancient vine and is said to be named after the village Gamay, south of Beaune, Burgundy, where it was first recorded about 1360.  It produces abundantly, so abundantly that in 1395 the Duke of Burgundy ordered the variety to be pulled out and be replaced with the "noble" Pinot Noir.  This order was repeated 60 years later.  As a result, no more Gamay grapes are grown in Burgundy proper, though today the adjacent autonomous region of Beaujolais is again part of greater Burgundy.
    • Synonyms:  No synonyms proper exist but a number of plants which were named after the Gamay variety are in fact not Gamay at all i.e. "Napa Gamay"is the variety Valdeguie while the Gamay du Rhone and Gamay Saint-Laurent are in fact a variety called Abouriou.
    • Countries:  Contrary to many other French grape varieties the Gamay grape has not spread wide and far.  Besides the Beaujolais the variety is grown in the Loire Valley where it is blended with the Cabernet Franc and/or Cot (a local clone of the Malbec).  Besides small amounts of Gamay are grown in California, Canada and Australia.

    Gamay-based wines are typically light bodied, aromatic and fruity wines derived by using the whole-berry carbonic maceration.  The majority are meant to be drunk young.  The "Beaujolais Crus" are more serious wines and are meant to be cellared before reaching their prime.  The lighter ones may be cellared about three years, the medium ones for 4-5 years and the very best between 5-10 years.  These wines typically have flavors of sour cherries, black pepper and dried berry.

    - Garganega
    - Garnacha

    Garnacha

    • Origin:  Grarnacha, although widely known under its French name (Grenache), is of Spanish origin; the variety originated in the area of Aragon hundreds of years ago.  It was known as Tinto Aragones (red of Aragon).  From there it spread to other countries and areas which, at that time, were part of the "Crown of Aragon" (12th to 18th century) i.e. Caledonia, parts of Roussillon (now France), Sardinia, parts of Italy and Greece.  The variety later spread to the Languedoc area, the Rhone valley, Provence and other areas in France.
    • Synonyms:  There are too many synonyms of the Grenache/Garnacha grape variety to list all.  Those mostly used are: Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Cannonau, Carignane Rosso, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Grenach Rouge, Navaro, Navarra Tentillo, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcamero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna while Gamatca Peluda, Garnatxa Peluc, Lladoner Gris, Lladoner Pelud and Lledoner Pelut are synonyms for the "hairy Grenache" grape variety.
    • Countries:  Grenache Noir is said to be the world's second most widely planted red wine grape variety.  It is widely planted in Spain and in France.  It is also grown in Italy, mainly in Sardinia, Sicily, Umbria and Calabria.  Once it was widely planted in Algeria and continues to be grown in Morocco, the Greek islands and Cyprus.  It is the third largest red grape variety grown in California and it was Australia's most widely planted red grape variety before it was overtaken by Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Grenache thrives in hot, dry climates; it is a vigorous and sturdy plant.  It buds early and needs a long ripening season.  Most Grenache vines are grown for blending.  Its low levels of acidity and tannins, its high degree of alcohol, soft fruitiness and lighter color make it a good partner for such purposes as it renders more tannic wines suitable for early consumption.  Yet, it is, when grown to produce stand-alone low yield wines that it shows what it is rally capable of, namely profound, long living wines.  In Spain its cultivation has declined as the variety was replaced with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  But the "discovery" in the 1990s of very old vines (40-60 years and older) in Priorat (Spain) that produce concentrated, dark colored and rich wines led to a re-evaluation of the situation and resulted in a once again increased cultivation of the variety.  Old Grenache vines have low yields and produce concentrated, long lived wines that display intense notes of black currant, coffee, cherries, honey, black pepper, spices and roasted nuts.  Grenache Noir is also and since a long time the main variety in the blend of the highly acclaimed Chateauneuf-du-Pape, produced in the Rhone Valley, France.

    - Gewuerztraminer
    - Glera

    Glera

    • Origins: Prosecco is a synonym for the white grape variety Glera. But the variety was mostly called Prosecco because that is the name of the village where centuries ago the variety originated. The sparkling wine  Prosecco had the same name  as the grape variety. That led to some confusion and misunderstanding. When the sparkling wine Prosecco was granted DOCG status in 2009 it became urgent to clarify the situation. Thus the sparkling wine region was assigned the name Prosecco and the grape variety reverted to its original name "Glera". Simple! It is assumed that the variety dates back to Roman times and is the famous "vinum pucinum" so praised by Pliny the Elder then. 
    • Synonyms:  Prosecco/Glera is also called Ghera, Glera, Glere, Grappolo Spargolo, Posecco Tondo, Prosecco Balbi, Prosecco Bianco, Prosecco Nostrano, Prosecco Tondo, Proseko Sciprina, Serpina, and Uva Pissona.
    • Countries: The variety mainly grown in Veneto and Friuli. It not known to be grown in other countries.

    While the Prosecco/Glera grape is mainly used to produce two sparkling wine varieties(Frizzante and Sparkling), still wimes are also produced(and sold in Italy). Both varieties are mainly served chilled as Aperitifs. It is best within 3~4 years. The alcohol level is between 11~12 degree. It is aromatic and crisp with aromas of apple, pear, peach and apricot and is particularly appreciated for its freshness, lightness and primary aromas.

    - Godello
    - Grauburgunder

    Grauburgunder

    • Origin:      The Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) also named Rulaender in Germany is part of the Burgundy vine family* the best known of which is the Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is known to mutate easily which resulted in the Pinot Gris. The variety is known since the middle ages in Burgundy. It was reported in Switzerland already in 1300. The variety grew wild in Germany for a long time and was “discovered” in 1711 by a man named Ruland and subsequently became known as “Rulaender”. Much later it was established that the variety was in fact the Pinot Gris. The variety was popular in Burgundy and in Champagne until the 19th century. But because yields were unreliable plantings were discontinued. It survived in Germany because more reliable clones were developed there.  
    *Red wine mutations: Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault, Samtrot,  
    *White wine mutations: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc  
            *Vine crossings: Chardonnay, Auxerrois
    • Synonyms:    There are many synonyms for the variety. The ones mostly used are: Auxerrois gris, Fromentau, Grauburgunder, Grauklevner, Malvoisie, Pinot Grigio, Rulaender,
    • Countries:    Pinot Gris is grown in many countries. In France about 2,600 hectares are planted with the variety, in Germany about 4,500 hectares, in Austria about 450 hectares, in Switzerland about 250 hectares, in Australia about 2,500 hectares, in New Zealand about 1,500 hectares, and in California and Oregon (USA) about 900 hectares. It is estimated that about 15,000 ~16,000 hectares worldwide are planted with the variety.  

    Pinot Gris grows well in cool climates and ripens early with a high sugar content. The styles vary between sweet to dry, with the latter ones usually with a higher degree of alcohol. The colour of the wines can vary considerably from deep yellow gold to light pink shades. Wines made from the variety can also vary considerably and which one depends essentially on the style most appreciated in the country and region. The differences also derives from the different clones planted and which were developed over the years to better suit the regional growing conditions and preferred styles. In Alsace the variety is classified as a noble grape and is permitted to produce Grand Cru wines. Alsace Pinot Gris wines are mostly medium to full bodied with floral aromas. The wines can age well. In Germany Grauburgunder wines are mostly dry or off dry, rich, powerful and full bodied. Most of them will also age well. In Oregon Pinot Gris are mostly medium bodied while in California they tend to be lighter bodied, crisp and refreshing. Pinot Grigio in Italy are also mostly lighter coloured and lighter bodied wines which are crisp and possess a refreshing acidity. In general the wines do not require cellaring and are best drunk within 2 ~ 5 years.

    - Grenache

    Grenache

    • Origin:  Grenache Noir is of Spanish origin (named Garnacha); the variety originated in the area of Aragon hundreds of years ago.  It was known as Tinto Aragones (red of Aragon).  From there it spread to other countries and areas which, at that time, were part of the "Crown of Aragon" (12th to 18th century) i.e. Caledonia, parts of Roussillon (now France), Sardinia, parts of Italy and Greece.  The variety later spread to the Languedoc area, the Rhone valley, Provence and other areas in France.
    • Synonyms:  There are too many synonyms of the Grenache/Garnacha grape variety to list all.  Those mostly used are: Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Cannonau, Carignane Rosso, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Grenach Rouge, Navaro, Navarra Tentillo, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcamero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna while Gamatca Peluda, Garnatxa Peluc, Lladoner Gris, Lladoner Pelud and Lledoner Pelut are synonyms for the "hairy Grenache" grape variety.
    • Countries:  Grenache Noir is said to be the world's second most widely planted red wine grape variety.  It is widely planted in Spain and in France.  It is also grown in Italy, mainly in Sardinia, Sicily, Umbria and Calabria.  Once it was widely planted in Algeria and continues to be grown in Morocco, the Greek islands and Cyprus.  It is the third largest red grape variety grown in California and it was Australia's most widely planted red grape variety before it was overtaken by Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Grenache thrives in hot, dry climates; it is a vigorous and sturdy plant.  It buds early and needs a long ripening season.  Most Grenache vines are grown for blending.  Its low levels of acidity and tannins, its high degree of alcohol, soft fruitiness and lighter color make it a good partner for such purposes as it renders more tannic wines suitable for early consumption.  Yet, it is, when grown to produce stand-alone low yield wines that it shows what it is rally capable of, namely profound, long living wines.  In Spain its cultivation has declined as the variety was replaced with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  But the "discovery" in the 1990s of very old vines (40-60 years and older) in Priorat (Spain) that produce concentrated, dark colored and rich wines led to a re-evaluation of the situation and resulted in a once again increased cultivation of the variety.  Old Grenache vines have low yields and produce concentrated, long lived wines that display intense notes of black currant, coffee, cherries, honey, black pepper, spices and roasted nuts.  Grenache Noir is also and since a long time the main variety in the blend of the highly acclaimed Chateauneuf-du-Pape, produced in the Rhone Valley, France.

    - Grenache Blanc
    - Grenache Gris
    - Grignolino
    - Gruener Veltliner
    - Gutedel
    - Kerner
    - Lagrein
    - Lambrusco
    - Müller-Thurgau
    - Macabeo
    - Malbec

    Malbec

    • Origin:  Malbec is a member of the Bordeaux family of six grape varieties along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Merlot and Petit Verdot but its popularity has considerably declined since the 1956 frost which destroyed about three-quarters of the vines.  The grape variety is said to have originated in northern Burgundy.  It was once planted widely in France to which over 1,000 synonym attest.  Today, the only region in France where Malbec has been widely replanted is Cahors where the variety is grown on about 4,500 hectares out of a total of less than 6,000 hectares in France.  It is in Argentina that the variety has found a second home.  Planted there first in the mid 19th century the variety, with over 20,000 hectares, has become a national variety of sorts.
    • Synonyms:  Malbec has so many synonyms that it is impossible to list them all.  The most important ones are: Auxerrois, Auxerrois De Laquenexy, Auxerrois Des Moines, Cahors, Cot, Cot a Queue Verte, Malbek, Medoc Noir, Noir De Pressac, Pressac, Plant du Lot.
    • Countries:  Due to the worldwide success of the Malbec wines from Argentina the variety has also been planted in the USA (mostly in California), in Chile and Australia.  Small quantities are also grown in Italy, South Africa and other countries.
    The traditional Malbec variety produces dark colored, robustly tannic and intense wine which needs time to mature.  The variety is prone to a number of grape diseases such as coulure, downey mildew and frost.  In France, it is almost always used in blends.  It was commonly part of the Bordeaux blend but that is rare these days.  In Cahors, its main growing region in France, the variety must account for at least 70% of the blend with Merlot and Tannat making up the rest.  Malbec produces well in different soils, but in France it does best in the limestone soil of Cahors.  Contrary to the blended Malbec wines in France the wines produced in Argentina are essentially single variety wines.  The different climatic conditions are one reason for it.  The other reason is that clones planted in the 19th century were different from the ones remaining in France after the devastation of the phylloxera epidemic.  The wines produced are as dark in color but softer with intense fruity flavors and more of a velvety in texture.


    - Marsanne
    - Melon de Bourgogne
    - Merlot

    Merlot

    • Origin:  Merlot is one of the six varieties of the Bordeaux blend (i.e. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec and Petit Verdot).  It is believed to be an offspring of the Cabernet Franc.  The variety was first mentioned in Bordeuax in 1784.  Merlot in French means young blackbird, it may have been so named as the bird particularly appreciates this kind of grape.
    • Synonyms:  Picard, Langon.
    • Countries:  The grape variety is grown in all major vine-growing countries and is said to be the second most widely planted red wine grape variety in the world.  About two-thirds of the Merlot grown in the world is done so in France.  It is the most widely grown variety in Bordeaux, France.  Other major growing countries include Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States (California, Oregon and Washington).

    Merlot buds and ripens one to two weeks earlier than other Cabernet varieties.  Even though this makes it susceptible to frost and coulure, the variety is nonetheless welcome by growers in cooler areas.  The plant is moderately vigorous but requires pruning and trimming as wines from both, under- and overripe grapes produce herbaceous overtones and less fruity wines.  While Merlot grows well in various soils it produces its best results in cold soils and the very best in ferrous clay (the most famous is Petrus in Pomerol/Bordeaux).  The variety is mostly used for blending, it is part of almost all of Bordeaux's most famous wines.  With less tannins, a higher degree of sugar and lower malic acid it perfectly balances the deep color, high extract and strong tannins of Cabernet wines.  Yet, it can also produce outstanding varietal wines (again Petrus with over 90% of Merlot is the most famous example).  In general, Merlot wines are known to mature faster than Cabernet wines (except Petrus, of course) but this also makes them attractive to many wine lovers.  With less tannins and astringency they are just so much easier to appreciate when young.  Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, mulberry, and plum.  Other notes include black and green olives, bell pepper, mushrooms, and tabacco.  After a number of years in oak, wines may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee, smoke, vanilla and walnut.

    - Meunier

    Meunier

    • Origin:  Meunier is one of several Pinot Noir mutations.  It was first mentioned in the 16th century.  The grape's name derives from the appearance of the leaf's underside, which seems to have been dusted with (white) flour (Meunier in French means miller).  In Germany, the variety is called Muellerrebe (Mille grape).  Although the variety is little known, it accounts for about one-third of all Champagne produced.
    • Synonyms:  Blanc Meunier, Blanche Feuille, Dusty Miller, Farineux, Fruehe blaue Muellerrebe, Gris Meunie, Meullerrebe, Mueller-Traube, Noirin Enfarine, Pineau Meunier, Pinot Noir.
    • Countries:  Pinot Meunier is widely planted in France; its main area remains the Champagne region.  It is also grown in Germany; mainly in Wurtemberg and to a lesser extent in Baden, Franken and the Pfalz.  Small quantities are grown in Austria, Switzerland, California and Australia.
    The variety is grown mostly in the northern Champagne region because it buds late and ripens earlier than Pinot Noir.  This combination is welcome in the area because it makes the grape less susceptible to frost and coulure (which reduces the crop).  In the Champagne region, it is mainly grown on northern facing slopes and generally in areas where the Pinot Noir and Chardonny have difficulty to ripen completely.  Meunier produces lighter colored and more acid wines but at the same time fruitier and more aromatic onces.  It thus contributes favorably to the Champagne blend.  Pure Meuner champagne are said to age less well than other champagnes.  But, as usual, there are some exceptions to this rule.  In Germany the grape variety is used to produce light red, rose and white wines rather than Sekt (sparkling wines).

    - Monastrell
  • - Montepulciano

    Montepulciano

    • Origin:  Montepulciano is an Italian red wine grape variety.  Although it is grown in all regions of central Italy and in some regions of the south (and has been so for centuries), its origin has not yet been established.  It is most widely grown in Abruzzo where it is used to produce the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.  It should not be confused with a wine from Tuscany i.e. the "Vino Nobile de Montepulciano" and which is made from Sangiovese grapes.  In this case the name "Montepulciano" refers to a village in the area.
    • Synonyms:  Various synonyms have been used to describe Montepulciano and its wines, including Cordisco, Cordisicio, Cordisio, Montepulciano Cordesco, Montepulciano Primatico, Morellone, Primaticcio, and Uva Abruzzi.
    • Countries:  The grape is Italy's second most widely planted variety.  It is grown throughout central and southern Italy, most notably in Abruzzi, Latium, Marche, Molise, Umbria and Apulia.  It is a permitted DOC variety in 20 of Italy's areas.  It is rarely found in northern Italy because the grape ripens late.  The variety is not grown in substantial quantities in other countries.
    The grape ripens late and unless strictly controlled, has a tendency to produce large yields.  Wines are deeply colored yet are only moderately tannic.  Tasting notes often find the wine to be round, full to heavy bodied with ripe tannins and moderate acidity.  They should not be aged for too long.  Three to six years is recommended for best results.

    - Mourvèdre

    Mourvèdre

    • Origin:  Although the name is French, Mouvedre is a Spanish red wine grape variety (called Mataro or Monastrell).  Most probably it was introduced to Spain about 500 BC by the Phoenicians.  It is said to have arrived in France during the 17th century and spread to the Rhone Valley and southern areas.
    • Synonyms:  Due to its long history, Mourvedre has many synonyms.  Only the most important are listed here.  Mataro is used in Portugal and parts of the New World where as Monastrell is used in Spain.  Others included:  Alicante, Balzac, Catalan, Cayata and Marseillais.
    • Countries:  Mourvedre is grown in many regions of the world.  The most important countries are:  Australia, France, Spain and the USA.

    Mourvedre buds and ripens very late.  It can recover well from late frost.  The variety does best in windy and very hot growing conditions as its tight bunches of grapes make it otherwise susceptible to rot.  Although the grapes like it very hot, they are sensitive to drought.  For these reasons the variety grows very well in the Rhone valley, on the Mediterranean coast in France and Spain and in some parts of Australia where they grow close to rivers or the sea.  The wines tend to be gamy and spicy when young but, in general, have soft red fruit flavors.  They are mostly used in blends with Grenache and Syrah/Shiraz.  The variety is a main component of the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine and blend.

    - Muscat Petits Grains
    - Muscat red
    - Muscat white
    - Nebbiolo
    - Negroamano
    - Nero d'Avola

    Nero d'Avola

    • Origin:  Nero d'Avola means the “Black of Avola” in Italian. It is Sicily’s main red wine variety. It is also one of Italy’s most important indigenous varieties. It’s name derives from the name of the town of Avola in the south of Sicily. While initially confined to the region around the town from where it originated the variety has now become popular and is planted in many parts of Sicily.  About 16 % of the vines grown in Sicily are Nero d’Avola. .    
    • Synonyms:  Sometimes the variety is also called Calabrese.
    • Countries:  Nero d’Avola likes hot and arid climates for which Sicily is the perfect place. Outside Sicily small quantities are grown in California.

    Most Nero d’Avola are rich, velvety and muscular red wine with soft, sweet and mature tannins displaying plum or peppery flavours. Previously much used for blending to add colour and weight to lighter red wines it has become popular standing on its own. It will age well for some years and benefits from the use of oak but does not need it. When blended with grape varieties which add a degree of acidity the wine becomes elegant rather than powerful. Nero d’Avola wines are sometimes compared to New World Shiraz wines. 

    - Organically farmed
    - Parellada
    - Petit Verdot

    Petit Verdot

    • Origins: Petit Verdot is a red wine grape variety. It is one of the 6 varieties used in the "Bordeaux Blend". The origins of the variety are not known, it certainly is much older than the Cabernet Sauvignon. Its characteristics indicate that it originated in a hotter climate. It is possible that the Romans transplanted the variety when they moved inland from the Mediterranean regions. The grape's name refers to its characteristic; "Petit" means small(grapes), "Verdot" means vert(green) as the grape bunches often contain green grapes when harvested. Note; The "Gros Verdot" variety is not genetically linked to the Petit Verdot but it too was planted in Bordeaux until it was banned there in 1946.
    • Synonyms: Bouton, Carmelin, Heran, Lambrusquet Noir, Petit Verdau, Petit Verdot Noir, Verdot and Verdot Rouge.
    • Countries: Petit Verdot is never used as a stand-alone variety in Bordeaux. It adds concentrated fruit, a darker colour, strong tannins and diversity of flavours to the wine. In Bordeaux it is now used much less due to the grape's difficult and slow ripening process but the variety has become more popular in hotter climate countries and regions. Warmer vintages due to climate change also helped it to gain popularity. Besides Bordeaux and southern France it is now grown mainly in Spain, California, Italy, Argentina and Australia.
     
    Single variety "Petit Verdot" have also appeared. They are powerful and concentrated wines(when well made) but the verdict as to the grape's suitability as a single variety wine is still out. Young wines may display aromas of vanilla, smoke. spice and cedar(sometimes also of tar). Mature wines may have flavours of concentrated fruit such as blackberry, cherry and plum. Given the powerful character of any "Petit Verdot" stand alone wine it is best served with strong food such grilled steak, spicy dishes, lamb, game, sausages and a large variety of characterful cheeses. 


    - Pinot Bianco

    Pinot Bianco

    • Origin:  The Pinot Bianco is part of the Burgundy vine family* the best known of which is the Pinot Noir.  Pinot Noir is known to mutate easily which resulted in the Pinot Gris. From it the Pinot Blanc mutated. The grape variety is known since the 14th century and has been planted in Germany since the 16th century. Historically it was planted in Burgundy and the Champagne but very little of it is planted there now.   
    *Red wine mutations: Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault, Samtrot, 
    *White wine mutations: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc            
    *Vine crossings: Chardonnay, Auxerois
    • Synonyms: There exist a large number of synonyms. The one mostly used are: Auvernat  Blanc, Bijeli pinot,Blanc de Champagne, Clevner/Klevner, Feher burgundi, Pinot Bianco, Pineau blanc, Pinot blanc vrai, Rulaender, Rulandské biele, Weissburgunder, Weissklevner.
    • Countries:  In France Pinot Blanc is planted mainly in Alsace (about 1.400 hectares). In Germany the variety is planted on about 3.800 hectares mainly in Baden, Rheinhessen, Franken and smaller amounts in other regions, in Italy about 7.000 hectares in 23 regions (of 43) are planted and in Austria about 2.000 hectares. Other countries are Czech, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovak, Switzerland, Canada, California and South Africa.

    Dry or off-dry Pinot Blanc are elegant and excellent food wines displaying a crisp and pleasant acidity and a rich and well balanced body with fruity aromas of apple, citrus and pear. The variety grows well in cooler, temperate climates but needs a southerly exposure. It does well in areas too hot for growing Riesling grapes. It buds relatively early, but is sensitive to late frost and excessive variations in temperature. Yet it supports very well cold winter weather. Given the thin skin of the
    grape the variety has to be handled with care during the harvest so as not to oxidize the juice.
    The wines do not require cellaring, they are best drunk within 2 ~5 years depending upon their quality and power.

    - Pinot Blanc

    Pinot Blanc

    • Origin: The Pinot Blanc is part of the Burgundy vine family* the best known of which is the Pinot Noir.  Pinot Noir is known to mutate easily which resulted in the Pinot Gris. From it the Pinot Blanc mutated. The grape variety is known since the 14th century and has been planted in Germany since the 16th century. Historically it was planted in Burgundy and the Champagne but very little of it is planted there now.   
    *Red wine mutations: Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault, Samtrot,    
    *White wine mutations: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc  
    *Vine crossings: Chardonnay, Auxerois
    • Synonyms:  There exist a large number of synonyms. The one mostly used are: Auvernat  Blanc, Bijeli pinot,Blanc de Champagne, Clevner/Klevner, Feher burgundi, Pinot Bianco, Pineau blanc, Pinot blanc vrai, Rulaender, Rulandské biele, Weissburgunder, Weissklevner.
    • Countries:  In France Pinot Blanc is planted mainly in Alsace (about 1.400 hectares). In Germany the variety is planted on about 3.800 hectares mainly in Baden, Rheinhessen, Franken and smaller amounts in other regions, in Italy about 7.000 hectares in 23 regions (of 43) are planted and in Austria about 2.000 hectares. Other countries are Czech, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovak, Switzerland, Canada, California and South Africa.

    Dry or off-dry Pinot Blanc are elegant and excellent food wines displaying a crisp and pleasant acidity and a rich and well balanced body with fruity aromas of apple, citrus and pear. The variety grows well in cooler, temperate climates but needs a southerly exposure. It does well in areas too hot for growing Riesling grapes. It buds relatively early, but is sensitive to late frost and excessive variations in temperature. Yet it supports very well cold winter weather. Given the thin skin of the
    grape the variety has to be handled with care during the harvest so as not to oxidize the juice.
    The wines do not require cellaring, they are best drunk within 2 ~5 years depending upon their quality and power.

    - Pinot Grigio

    Pinot Grigio

    • Origin:      The Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) also named Rulaender in Germany is part of the Burgundy vine family* the best known of which is the Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is known to mutate easily which resulted in the Pinot Gris. The variety is known since the middle ages in Burgundy. It was reported in Switzerland already in 1300. The variety grew wild in Germany for a long time and was “discovered” in 1711 by a man named Ruland and subsequently became known as “Rulaender”. Much later it was established that the variety was in fact the Pinot Gris. The variety was popular in Burgundy and in Champagne until the 19th century. But because yields were unreliable plantings were discontinued. It survived in Germany because more reliable clones were developed there.  
    *Red wine mutations: Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault, Samtrot,  
    *White wine mutations: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc  
            *Vine crossings: Chardonnay, Auxerrois
    • Synonyms:    There are many synonyms for the variety. The ones mostly used are: Auxerrois gris, Fromentau, Grauburgunder, Grauklevner, Malvoisie, Pinot Grigio, Rulaender,
    • Countries:    Pinot Gris is grown in many countries. In France about 2,600 hectares are planted with the variety, in Germany about 4,500 hectares, in Austria about 450 hectares, in Switzerland about 250 hectares, in Australia about 2,500 hectares, in New Zealand about 1,500 hectares, and in California and Oregon (USA) about 900 hectares. It is estimated that about 15,000 ~16,000 hectares worldwide are planted with the variety.  

    Pinot Gris grows well in cool climates and ripens early with a high sugar content. The styles vary between sweet to dry, with the latter ones usually with a higher degree of alcohol. The colour of the wines can vary considerably from deep yellow gold to light pink shades. Wines made from the variety can also vary considerably and which one depends essentially on the style most appreciated in the country and region. The differences also derives from the different clones planted and which were developed over the years to better suit the regional growing conditions and preferred styles. In Alsace the variety is classified as a noble grape and is permitted to produce Grand Cru wines. Alsace Pinot Gris wines are mostly medium to full bodied with floral aromas. The wines can age well. In Germany Grauburgunder wines are mostly dry or off dry, rich, powerful and full bodied. Most of them will also age well. In Oregon Pinot Gris are mostly medium bodied while in California they tend to be lighter bodied, crisp and refreshing. Pinot Grigio in Italy are also mostly lighter coloured and lighter bodied wines which are crisp and possess a refreshing acidity. In general the wines do not require cellaring and are best drunk within 2 ~ 5 years.

    - Pinot Gris

    Pinot Gris

    • Origin:      The Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) also named Rulaender in Germany is part of the Burgundy vine family* the best known of which is the Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is known to mutate easily which resulted in the Pinot Gris. The variety is known since the middle ages in Burgundy. It was reported in Switzerland already in 1300. The variety grew wild in Germany for a long time and was “discovered” in 1711 by a man named Ruland and subsequently became known as “Rulaender”. Much later it was established that the variety was in fact the Pinot Gris. The variety was popular in Burgundy and in Champagne until the 19th century. But because yields were unreliable plantings were discontinued. It survived in Germany because more reliable clones were developed there.  
    *Red wine mutations: Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault, Samtrot,  
    *White wine mutations: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc  
            *Vine crossings: Chardonnay, Auxerrois
    • Synonyms:    There are many synonyms for the variety. The ones mostly used are: Auxerrois gris, Fromentau, Grauburgunder, Grauklevner, Malvoisie, Pinot Grigio, Rulaender,
    • Countries:    Pinot Gris is grown in many countries. In France about 2,600 hectares are planted with the variety, in Germany about 4,500 hectares, in Austria about 450 hectares, in Switzerland about 250 hectares, in Australia about 2,500 hectares, in New Zealand about 1,500 hectares, and in California and Oregon (USA) about 900 hectares. It is estimated that about 15,000 ~16,000 hectares worldwide are planted with the variety.  

    Pinot Gris grows well in cool climates and ripens early with a high sugar content. The styles vary between sweet to dry, with the latter ones usually with a higher degree of alcohol. The colour of the wines can vary considerably from deep yellow gold to light pink shades. Wines made from the variety can also vary considerably and which one depends essentially on the style most appreciated in the country and region. The differences also derives from the different clones planted and which were developed over the years to better suit the regional growing conditions and preferred styles. In Alsace the variety is classified as a noble grape and is permitted to produce Grand Cru wines. Alsace Pinot Gris wines are mostly medium to full bodied with floral aromas. The wines can age well. In Germany Grauburgunder wines are mostly dry or off dry, rich, powerful and full bodied. Most of them will also age well. In Oregon Pinot Gris are mostly medium bodied while in California they tend to be lighter bodied, crisp and refreshing. Pinot Grigio in Italy are also mostly lighter coloured and lighter bodied wines which are crisp and possess a refreshing acidity. In general the wines do not require cellaring and are best drunk within 2 ~ 5 years.

    - Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir

    • Origin:     Pinot Noir is a very ancient red wine grape variety said to be linked to the wild, Vitis Sylvestris, vines. It is part of the Burgundy vine family. The variety is known to mutate easily. From it a number of well-established varieties resulted such as Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault and Samtrot for red wines and Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc for white wines. Deriving from crossings the Chardonnay, Aligote, Auxerrois, Gamay, Melon and Pinotage varieties are also linked to it. Hundreds of different clones of Pinot Noir exist around the world, of which more than 50 are officially recognized in France, many more than of the Cabernet Sauvignon even though the variety is much more widely planted. The many clones accounts for the large variations in quality, style and taste of Pinot Noir wines around the world. Burgundy is the region where the Pinot Noir grape has been planted for almost 2.000 years and where the grape has been refined for hundreds of years into the exquisite variety it is now and the wines of which are so much sought after in the world. Although some fine Pinot Noir wines are now made in areas outside Burgundy the region still remains the place where most of the great Pinot Noir wines are crafted. 
    • Synonyms:    Given its long history and spread around the world there are too many synonyms to list them all. Stated here are the more common names:  Assmannshäuser, Auvergnat, Blauburgunder, Bourguignon noir, Chambertin, Fruehburgunder, Klevner Kék, Petit Bourguignon, Petit Noir, Petit Plant Doré, Pinot Nero, Pinot, Pinot Clevner, Pinot Droit, Pinot nera, Pinot nero, Pinot noir, Samtrot, Spätburgunder,
    • Countries:    Pinot Noir is grown in many countries of the world, mostly in cooler regions. In Europe it is grown in Austria (400 Ha), Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France (29.500 Ha) Germany (12.000 Ha), Italy (3.500 Ha), Hungary, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland (4.500 Ha) and Ukraine. In the New World it is grown in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile (1.500 Ha), New Zealand (5.000 Ha), South Africa (800 Ha), USA (14.000 Ha) and Uruguay.

    The name of Pinot derives from the form of the grape cluster which looks similar to a pine cone.  The grape is not as vigorous as many other grape varieties e.g. Cabernet and Syrah. It also does not support well late frosts and strong winds and it is susceptible to a variety of vine diseases. To produce good quality wines the Pinot Noir must be grown in optimum soil conditions. It demands consistent warm but not hot weather, cool evenings and nights and careful handling during the harvest so as not to damage the thin skin and oxidize the juice. The wine reflects the characteristics of the soils it grows in clearly (and the quality of the clone used) and this is one of the reasons why Pinot Noir can be so different depending upon where it comes from. As one famous wine maker once said “God made the Cabernet Sauvignon, the devil made Pinot Noir”. Yet despite these difficulties vintners seek increasingly to plant the variety as the worldwide demand for Pinot Noir wines is growing steadily.

    Burgundy still sets the benchmark for traditional Pinot Noir quality, taste, and style. Yet given the different climatic and geological growing conditions worldwide and the ongoing climate change styles of Pinot Noir which are different from the Burgundy wines have developed. Traditionally Burgundy Pinot Noir are elegant, medium bodied, lighter coloured wines (due to less colouring matter in their skin) with aromas of black and red cherries, raspberries and red and black currant.  So called “farmyard” or “sous-bois” aromas are often associated with the traditional style. This is in contrast to so called “modern” Pinot Noir which have a darker colour, are more powerful and have a higher alcohol content. Pinot Noir are grown for still as well as for sparkling wines, it is the main variety grown in the Champagne area. Except for the very greatest Burgundy wines Pinot Noir are best consumed within 5 ~15 years depending upon the vintage and, of course, the quality of the wine. Climate change has expanded the areas where high quality Pinot Noir can be produced and which has opened up regions in northern areas such as Germany where now the best Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir) can compare with the best Pinot Noir wines from Burgundy.

    - Pinotage
    - Piquepoul Blanc
    - Primitivo
    - Prosecco

    Prosecco

    • Origins: Prosecco is a synonym for the white grape variety Glera. But the variety was mostly called Prosecco because that is the name of the village where centuries ago the variety originated. The sparkling wine  Prosecco had the same name  as the grape variety. That led to some confusion and misunderstanding. When the sparkling wine Prosecco was granted DOCG status in 2009 it became urgent to clarify the situation. Thus the sparkling wine region was assigned the name Prosecco and the grape variety reverted to its original name "Glera". Simple! It is assumed that the variety dates back to Roman times and is the famous "vinum pucinum" so praised by Pliny the Elder then.
    • Synonyms:  Prosecco/Glera is also called Ghera, Glera, Glere, Grappolo Spargolo, Posecco Tondo, Prosecco Balbi, Prosecco Bianco, Prosecco Nostrano, Prosecco Tondo, Proseko Sciprina, Serpina, and Uva Pissona.
    • Countries: The variety mainly grown in Veneto and Friuli. It not known to be grown in other countries.

    While the Prosecco/Glera grape is mainly used to produce two sparkling wine varieties(Frizzante and Sparkling), still wimes are also produced(and sold in Italy). Both varieties are mainly served chilled as Aperitifs. It is best within 3~4 years. The alcohol level is between 11~12 degree. It is aromatic and crisp with aromas of apple, pear, peach and apricot and is particularly appreciated for its freshness, lightness and primary aromas.

    - Riesling

    Riesling

    • Origin:  The earliest references of the Riesling grape date fromthe 15th century about plantings of the variety in the Rhine valley.  Modern day DNA have revealed it to be a crossing of the grape variety Weisser Heunisch and a cross between a wild vine and the Traminer.  Both grape varieties were well known to peasants in Germany and France during the Middle Ages.
    • Synonyms:  The Riesling grape has many synonyms.  Those mostly used are:  Grauer Riesling, Gewuerzriesling, Hockheimer, Johannisberger, Johannisberg Riesling, Klingelberger, Mosel Riesling, Petit Rhin, Petit Riesling, Rheingauer, Rhine/Renano and White Riesling.  The following varieties which contain the name "Riesling" are not related to the Riesling grape:  Welschriesling, Schwarzriesling, Cape Riesling and Gray Riesling.
    • Countries:  The Riesling grape is grown in many countries.  The most famous Riesling wines come from its original country, Germany.  Other countries where the Riesling grape is grown are:  Australia, Austria, Canada, France/Alsace, New Zealand and the USA (California, New York, Oregon and Washington).

    The Riesling grape is often called the noblest white wine grape.  It grows best in cold climates where it expresses the full range of its qualities.  Riesling wines are flowery and aromatic, have a high degree of acidity and distinctively display the characteristic flavors of the grape variety on the nose.  When tasted the wine clearly expresses its origin i.e. the soil in which it grew.  It lends itself equally well to producing excellent dry, off-dry, mild, sweet and exquisite luscious wines.  Riesling wines are generally pure; they do not need to be raised in oak barrels.  Although most Riesling wines are drunk young, they can age very well.  Dry wines can be kept up to 10 or more years while sweet and luscious wines can last much longer, up to 30 years or more.  Some Riesling wines are known to be over one hundred years old.  Most young Riesling wines are crisp, fruity and aromatic displaying aromas of green apples, honey, grapefruit, peach and/or gooseberry.  Aged high quality Riesling wines often develop the much sought after petrolly flavor.  This particular flavor is said to derive from very ripe grapes, high sun exposure, water stress and a high degree of acidity.  Not surprisingly all of these factors are required to produce wines of outstanding quality.

    - Rondinella
    - Roussanne
    - Sémillon
    - Sangiovese

    Sangiovese

    • Origin:  Sangiovese is the dominant red grape variety in central Italy.The variety is now famous for the great wines produced from it such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. But it was not always been like that. There are many different clones of the variety and not all produce great wines. Much research during the last decades has gone into identifying the good clones and then assessing which are best for agiven region and prevailing soil conditions. Sangiovese was already well known in the 16th century and, according to recent DNA studies, is related to the Ciliegiolo and Calabrese di Montenuovo varieties. The latter variety is not grown anymore but was discovered by chance in a vineyard.
    • Synonyms:  There are many synonyms given the grapes' long history. The better known ones are: Brunello, Brunello Di Montalcino, Calabrese, Montepulciano, Morellino, Morellone, Nielluccia, Nielluccio, Prugnolo Di Montepulciano, Prugnolo Gentile, Sangiovese Di Romagna, Sangiovese Dolce, Sangiovese Gentile, Sangiovese Grosso, Sangiovese Toscano, Sangioveto Montanino, Sanvincetr and San Gioveto.
    • Countries:  The homeland of the Sangiovese grape is central Italy but the variety is also grown(in smaller volumes)in other regions of Italy such as Lazio, Umbria and Marche. Outside Italy it is grown in Corsica(known as Nielluccio), California, Australia and Argentina.

    Quality Sangiovese wines are appreciated for their rich flavours and taste. Superior wines will last 20 or more years but the majority is best consumed within 5~10 years. Young wines prossess a good degree of acidity and firm tannins. Over time these components will integrate and result in well-structured yet rounded wines. Younger wines have fresh fruit flavours of dark cherry and a touch of spiciness. Older wines are known for their mulberry, spice, plum and prunes flavours. Sangiovese are ideal, food friendly wines going well with a large variety of dishes.

    - Sauvignon Blanc
  • - Sauvignon Blanc Musque
    - Scheurebe
    - Shiraz
    - Spätburgunder

    Spätburgunder

    • Origin:     Spaetburgunder is the German name for the Pinot Noir grape. Records show that the variety, then named “Clevner” (Klevner), was introduced to Germany in the year 884 by the Emperor Charles the 3rd and that the variety has been grown in the Rheingau since the 13th century. Climate change has expanded the areas where Pinot Noir can be produced and has opened up regions in northern areas such as Germany where now the best Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir) can compare with the best Pinot Noir wines from Burgundy.                                      
    Pinot Noir is a very ancient red wine grape variety said to be linked to the wild, Vitis Sylvestris, vines. It is part of the Burgundy vine family. The variety is known to mutate easily. From it a number of well-established varieties resulted such as Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault and Samtrot for red wines and Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc for white wines. Deriving from crossings the Chardonnay, Aligote, Auxerrois, Gamay, Melon and Pinotage varieties are also linked to it. Hundreds of different clones of Pinot Noir exist around the world, of which more than 50 are officially recognized in France, many more than of the Cabernet Sauvignon even though the variety is much more widely planted. The many clones accounts for the large variations in quality, style and taste of Pinot Noir wines around the world. Burgundy is the region where the Pinot Noir grape has been planted for almost 2.000 years and where the grape has been refined for hundreds of years into the exquisite variety it is now and the wines of which are so much sought after in the world. Although some fine Pinot Noir wines are now made in areas outside Burgundy the region still remains the place where most of the great Pinot Noir wines are crafted. 
    • Synonyms:    Given its long history and spread around the world there are too many synonyms to list them all. Stated here are the more common names:  Assmannshäuser, Auvergnat, Blauburgunder, Bourguignon noir, Chambertin, Fruehburgunder, Klevner Kék, Petit Bourguignon, Petit Noir, Petit Plant Doré, Pinot Nero, Pinot, Pinot Clevner, Pinot Droit, Pinot nera, Pinot nero, Pinot noir, Samtrot, Spätburgunder,
    • Countries:    Pinot Noir is grown     in many countries of the world, mostly in cooler regions. In Europe it is grown in Austria (400 Ha), Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France (29.500 Ha) Germany (12.000 Ha), Italy (3.500 Ha), Hungary, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland (4.500 Ha) and Ukraine. In the New World it is grown in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile (1.500 Ha), New Zealand (5.000 Ha), South Africa (800 Ha), USA (14.000 Ha) and Uruguay.

    The name of Pinot derives from the form of the grape cluster which looks similar to a pine cone.  The grape is not as vigorous as many other grape varieties e.g. Cabernet and Syrah. It also does not support well late frosts and strong winds and it is susceptible to a variety of vine diseases. To produce good quality wines the Pinot Noir must be grown in optimum soil conditions. It demands consistent warm but not hot weather, cool evenings and nights and careful handling during
    the harvest so as not to damage the thin skin and oxidize the juice. The wine reflects the characteristics of the soils it grows in clearly (and the quality of the clone used) and this is one of the reasons why Pinot Noir can be so different depending upon where it comes from. As one famous wine maker once said “Good made the Cabernet Sauvignon, the devil made Pinot Noir”.  Yet despite these difficulties vintners seek increasingly to plant the variety as the worldwide
    demand for Pinot Noir wines is growing steadily.

    Burgundy still sets the benchmark for traditional Pinot Noir quality, taste, and style. Yet given the different climatic and geological growing conditions worldwide and the ongoing climate change styles of Pinot Noir which are different from the Burgundy wines have developed. Traditionally Burgundy Pinot Noir are elegant, medium bodied, lighter coloured wines (due to less colouring matter in their skin) with aromas of black and red cherries, raspberries and red and black currant.  So called “farmyard” or “sous-bois” aromas are often associated with the traditional style. This is in contrast to so called “modern” Pinot Noir which have a darker colour, are more powerful and have a higher alcohol content. Pinot Noir are grown for still as well as for sparkling wines, it is the main variety grown in the Champagne area. Except for the very greatest Burgundy wines Pinot Noir are best consumed within 5 ~15 years depending upon the vintage and, of course, the quality of the wine.

    - Sylvaner

    Sylvaner

    • Origin:  Sylvaner or Silvaner (as it is known in Germany) is a white wine grape variety mainly grown in Germany and Alsace (France). The variety has been around for a long time. Its exact origin is not known but recent studies indicate that it has long been planted in Transylvania (now Romania) which was part of the Austrian Empire. It has also been established that the variety is a cross between the Traminer and an ancient variety called Austrian-White.
    • Synonyms: As a result of its long history Silvaner has many Synonyms. Those used more often are: Arvine Grande, Augustiner Weiss, Frankenriesling, Frankentraube, Gamay Blanc, Gentil Vert, Gros Rhin, Gruener Silvaner, Gruenedel, Gruenfraenkisch, Grün Silvaner, Monterey Riesling, Oesterreicher, Plant Du Rhin, Rhin, Rundblatt, Sonoma Riesling, Sylvaner Verde, Szilvani Feher, Zierfandler.
    • Countries:  Most of the Sylvaner Grapes are grown in Germany (about 6.000 hectares) and about 1.200 hectares in Alsace (France).In both countries the planting of the variety has decreased during the last 50 years except in Franken (Germany) where the variety grows on exquisite shell-bearing limestone and can easily compete with the best Rieslings and other white wine varieties.  Here powerful, food friendly, high quality wines are produced and much sought after. In Europe the variety is also grown in Austria, Croatia (where is has become quite popular), Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland. Other countries and regions are Australia and California.

    Sylvaner white wines are called “food friendly” wines because of their neutral character. Alsace Sylvaner are mostly light and dry except in the Zotzenberg area where it was granted “Grand Cru” status. Franken Sylvaner are dry, rich and powerful wines and may be used in wines granted the status of “Grosses Gewaechs” (in Germany). These wines will age and improve over time. The grape variety is also grown in other German wine regions where they are generally lighter than Franken wines. Many are dry too but fruity or off-dry styles can be found also.


    - Syrah
    - Tempranillo
    - Tinta Fina
    - Torrontes
    - Traminer
    - Trebbiano
    - Trollinger
    - Ugni Blanc
    - Verdejo
    - Verdicchio
    - Viognier
    - Weiβburgunder

    Weiβburgunder

    • Origin: The Weiβburgunder (Pinot Blanc) is part of the Burgundy vine family the best known of which is the Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is known to mutate easily which resulted in the Pinot Gris. From it the Pinot Blanc mutated. The grape variety is known since the 14th century and has been planted in Germany since the 16th century. Historically it was planted in Burgundy and the Champagne but very little of it is planted there now.   
    *Red wine mutations: Pinot Meunier, Fruehburgunder, Sankt Laurent, Pinot Liebault, Samtrot,    
    *White wine mutations: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc  
    *Vine crossings: Chardonnay, Auxerois  
    • Synonyms: There exist a large number of synonyms. The one mostly used are: Auvernat  Blanc, Bijeli pinot,Blanc de Champagne, Clevner/Klevner, Feher burgundi, Pinot Bianco, Pineau blanc, Pinot blanc vrai, Rulaender, Rulandské biele, Weissburgunder, Weissklevner.
    • Countries:  In France Pinot Blanc is planted mainly in Alsace (about 1.400 hectares). In Germany the variety is planted on about 3.800 hectares mainly in Baden, Rheinhessen, Franken and smaller amounts in other regions, in Italy about 7.000 hectares in 23 regions (of 43) are planted and in Austria about 2.000 hectares. Other countries are Czech, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovak, Switzerland, Canada, California and South Africa.


    Dry or off-dry Pinot Blanc are elegant and excellent food wines displaying a crisp and pleasant acidity and a rich and well balanced body with fruity aromas of apple, citrus and pear. The variety grows well in cooler, temperate climates but needs a southerly exposure. It does well in areas too hot for growing Riesling grapes. It buds relatively early, but is sensitive to late frost and excessive variations in temperature. Yet it supports very well cold winter weather. Given the thin skin of the rape the variety has to be handled with care during the harvest so as not to oxidize the juice.


    The wines do not require cellaring, they are best drunk within 2 ~5 years depending upon their quality and power.


    - Xarel-Lo
    - Zinfandel


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