European Wine Grape Varieties:
A Glossary of European Wine Grape Varieties
European Wine Grape Varieties - Extracted from The Super Gigantic WWW Wine Grape Glossary by Anthony J. Hawkins
"Wine is Bottled Poetry" - Robert Louis Stevenson
EUROPEAN WINE GRAPE VARIETIES
Minor grape now rarely grown in SW. France. Used to make a red wine and thought to be the grape called Early Burgundy in California and Australia.
AGIORGITIKO (aka St. George)
Red wine grape native to Greece. Used to produce good Rose's etc.
Minor grape responsible for some of the better sturdy red wines of southern Italy. Descendant of the ancient Falernum grape. Also makes good bronze-colored rose' wine.
Semi-classic white wine grape with the unique distinction of being the most widely planted vine variety in Spain. Highly resistant to drought, it is grown at an extraordinary low vine density per acre as low bushes. Its wines are used for distilling into brandy and also blending with deep-red grape wines to create lighter colored versions. Increasingly popular as a dry, crisp white wine made to be drunk as fresh as possible.
Grape resulting from a cross between Riesling and a Sylvaner clone. Limited growths in Rheinhessen region of Germany. Used to create good "Auslese" style white wines in better years.
White wine grape of ancient origin widely planted in the Emilia region of Italy. Produced as several variations of dry, semi-dry and sweet (dolce) wine of which the latter is regarded by many as the most successful.
Minor red grape commonly grown in central and southern Italy. Related to the Muscat variety, with strong aroma of that grape, it is grown extensively in the Abbruzzo and Apulia regions. Some plantings are also found in the warmer regions of California, U.S.A.
Minor grape originating from a 19th century cross using the Aramon and ancient Teinturier native vine, resulting in a hybrid varietal. This in turn was crossed with the Grenache to give the named grape. Widely grown in France, California and Spain. In the latter country it is known as Garnacha Tintorera. In the cool Champagne region of France it is the main grape used to make the sweet "vin mousseux" - (sparkling wine). Often known as "Alicante" for short. Elsewhere the canned juice is used by many amateur winemakers for fermenting homemade wines.
Semi-classic grape widely grown in temperate regions of France, California and Eastern Europe. Used to make a superior white wine for blending or as a good dry wine in the better vintage years in Burgundy, France. Successfully used in the cooler western coastal regions of N. America.
Semi-classic grape grown in the Savoie region of France. Used with another local grape, the Molette, to create a blend known as "Seyssell" white wine made to be drunk as young as possible. Also used for the superior "Roussette de Savoie" white wine blend created with Mondeuse grape wine. Once thought to have origins in Cyprus, the grape is now suspected of being related to, if not actually being, the Furmint grape of Hungary.
Minor grape of ancient origin grown in the Valais district of Switzerland. Used to make somewhat ponderous, perfumed dry white wine.
Minor grape of mediocre quality widely grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France and mainly used to make a "stretch" wine for blending with better varieties in order to make some of the more notorious styles of "vin de table" wine associated with the Midi. There are two mutations also found there, Aramon Gris and Aramon Blanc, neither being significant.
Fairly widely grown white-wine grape in the Loire region of France. Used in some blends labeled "Touraine". Also known as Menu Pineau or Petit Pineau.
Minor grape grown in Piedmont region of Italy. Used to make an aromatic white wine - (e.g: "Roero Arneis", "Langhe Arneis") - lacking sufficient acidity, when fully ripened, to age well . Some regard it as reminiscent of wines made from the french Viognier grape grown in the northern Rhone region. Others find Pinot Gris of the U.S. west coast, (see below), similarities in the fruity flavor of the wine when made in the style of "Tokay d'Alsace".
Minor, but of ancient origin, grape grown in the Swiss Valais district. Used to create dry white wine that is considerably more lively than that made from the Amigne grape.
French local name for the Malbec, aka Cot red wine grape species grown in the Cahors region of France and also, confusingly, an important white wine grape in the Alsace region called the Auxerrois Blanc that is distinct from another locally grown white wine grape called the Auxerrois Gris that is actually the Pinot Gris varietal grape.
Local name for white wine grape grown in the northeast Moselle and Alsace regions of France. Used to produce mildly acidic wines that add a honied intensity to blends with the Pinot Blanc in the better vintage years.
Red wine grape widely grown in Portugal. Produces acidic, tannic wines capable of aging well.
Semi-classic grape commonly grown in the Piedmont region and most of northern Italy. Now thought by some to be identical with the Perricone , or Pignatello, grape of Sardinia. Was probably imported into the U.S.A. late in the 19th century. Usually produces an intense red wine with deep color, low tannins and high acid and is used in California to provide "backbone" for so-called "jug" wines. Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow production of long-aging, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content. Plantings in North America are mostly confined to the warm western coastal regions.
Name for a Gamay type clone grape that is grown in Austria and used to produce dry, fruity red wines. The grape is also grown in Germany under the name Limberger. Also known as the Kekfrankos grape in Hungary and currently the main ingredient partly replacing Kadarka in the red wine blend once famous as "Egri Bikaver".
(aka Portugieser, see below.)
Red wine grape extensively grown in Spain. Produces deeply colored wine suitable for blending.
Widely grown in the Apulia region of southern Italy. Used as a blending red wine or as a local "vino di tavola". A mutation grown in the same area is called Bombino Nero.
(See Bombino Bianca above).
(see Croatina below).
Minor red grape grown in Piedmont region of Italy. Makes fruity red wine of mild intensity when blended with wine from Barbera grape.
Alternate name for Uva Rara grape. (See below).
(See Cesanese below).
Synonym name for the Cabernet Franc grape when grown in NE. Italy.
Alternate name for the Cabernet Franc grape when grown in certain cru areas of the Bordeaux region.
Local name for the Cabernet Franc grape grown in the Pyrenees region of France. Makes one of four wines blended to produce a full-bodied red wine called "Madiran". The others are Courbu, Pinenc and Tannat.
Minor grape grown in southern Rhone region and used in red wine blends to help create warmth and roundness. Called the Malvoisie grape in the Languedoc region of France.
Minor native grape grown in Austria. Produces soft, fragrant white wines. Most of the crop is processed into a grape juice called "Traubenmost" and also made into a sweet wine called "Sturm" that is drunk very young in the manner of "nouveau" beaujolais. The grape is also extensively grown in Hungary.
Minor grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. Used to make spritzy, light red dessert wines with fruity, strawberry aroma. Best when young and served chilled. Known to be the same grape as the French Braquet
(see Brachetto above).
Thought to be identical with the obscure french grape known as Monbadon, this white wine grape is mostly to be found planted in the Central Valley of California, USA and used for blending.
Semi-classic grape similar in many ways to Cabernet Sauvignon. Now strongly suspected of being a mutation particularly suited to cooler, damper climatic conditions. Widely grown in the Loire region where it is known as the Breton and in large areas of southwest France where it is sometimes known as Bouchy or Bouchet. In NE. Italy it is known as the Bordo grape. Bordeaux wines commonly contain a blend of both wines, a practice increasingly being followed in California. Wine from these grapes has a deep purple color, when young, with a fragrant aroma. Just like Cabernet Sauvignon, North American growth is mainly confined to the coastal regions; Long Island (N.Y.) and the Pacific Northwest showing signs of being very hospitable. New Zealand has also proved to be a potential good home.
Minor grape grown in the Tuscany region of northern Italy. Red wine from this grape is often used for blending with Sangiovese Grosso in some of the Chianti range of red wines.
Not related to the Riesling grape cepage in any way. Is actually the Crouchen varietal now sparsely grown in the Pyrenees region of France and is thought to have been translocated to South Africa in the mid-19th century where the grape has been subsequently also known as the South African Riesling, or Paarl Riesling, presumably due to an identification error. The true, german Riesling grape is locally known as the Weisser Riesling, or White Riesling, in South Africa. The misnamed Cape Riesling can legally be sold under a "Riesling" non-varietal white wine blend label and is known to have good bottle-aging potential.
CARIGNANE (aka Carinena and Mazuelo in Spain, Gragnano in Italy)
Semi-classic grape commonly used for making red wines in Southern France and Spain. It is also successfully grown in California's Central Valley, often ending up in generic blends and "jug" wines, although some old plantings allow small lots of premium extract wine to be made. Blended with other varieties such as Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, it has been used to create french Rhone-style red wines in California similar to the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend.
Alternate name for the Carignane grape in Spain. (See above).
Very limited plantings of this red wine grape are now found in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, France where it is used to produce deep red wines occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot.
White wine grape native to Sicily where it is found widely grown along the western coast.
CESANESE (aka Bonvino Nero)
Red wine grape of ancient origin mostly found in the Latium region of central Italy.
Red-wine creating grape grown on small acreages in California. Some have argued that it is a clone of the now sparsely grown Douce Noir grape found in the Savoie region of France, better known as the Dolcetto grape widely grown in northern Italy.
Minor grape grown in Switzerland, France and New Zealand. Widely grown in the cantons of the first country where it has several regional names, such as Perlan in the Mandement district. Mostly vinified to be a full, dry and fruity white wine. In France it is mostly grown in the Loire region where it is converted into a blend with Sauvignon Blanc called "Pouilly-sur-Loire" and in the Savoy region where it is treated in the Swiss manner. In New Zealand it is mainly made into popular sweet white wines.
CINSAUT (aka Cinsault)
Semi-classic grape widely grown in southern France and also in the Lebanon. Used as component in some Cotes du Rhone red wine blends. Transplanted to South Africa, where it was erroneously thought to be a Rhone Hermitage grape, and now a widely grown varietal making a popular red wine in that country, it is also often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. It has also been used to create the hybrid grape species known as Pinotage.
Minor grape grown in the south of France and used with the Muscat grape to create a sparkling red wine blend.
Better known as French Colombard in North America. Acidic grape crushed by some northern Californian producers and made into a fruity white wine of simple character in both dry and sweet versions. Mainly grown in California to provide acidic backbone for white "jug" wine blends. Still grown in France where it is used for white wine blends known as "Bordeaux Blanc" and is also used for distilling into brandy. Also widely grown in South Africa.
Minor grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy and used to make the "Gavi" - (e.g: Cortese di Gavi), white wines.
CORVINA (aka "Corvina Veronese")
Used with two other grapes, Rondinella and Molinara, to create the light red blends known as "Bardolino" and "Valpolicella" wine that have a mild fruity flavor with hints of almond. Mainly grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy.
Alternative french name for Malbec grape. (See below).
Minor grape used to create a red wine blend known as "Madiran", found in the Pyrenees region of France. The other wines in the blend are made from the Bouchy, Pinenc and Tannat grapes.
Minor grape grown in the southern Rhone region of France and used in red wine blends to create aroma and freshness.
Argentine synonym for the Pais grape grown in Chile. The mutation known as Criolla Grande is used to make a mediocre white wine.
(See Criolla Chica above).
Minor grape grown in the Piedmont, (Piemonte), region of Italy. The Bonarda of the "Colli Piacentini" and "Oltrepo Pavese" is actually this grape.
(aka Cruchen) See Cape Riesling above for main information.
White wine grape widely grown in Bulgaria. Used mainly to produce sweet wines for early consumption.
Widely planted white wine grape to be found in Hungary.
Well-known grape widely grown in Piedmont region of Italy. Usually made into fast maturing, fruity and robust dark red wine with faintly bitter flavor. May be identical with the Douce Noir grape of the Savoie region of France and the varietal known as Charbono in California.
Recent vine cross gaining wide popularity in Germany. Creates red wines from grapes that have every important red-wine variety suitable for central Europe in their geneology. Mainly grown in the Rheinhessen and Pfalz regions, it is increasingly available as a bottled varietal with aging potential.
Minor grape grown in the area well to the southeast of Bordeaux. Used to create red and rose' blended wines along with wine made from the Negrette, Syrah and Gamay Noir grapes.
DURIF (aka Duriff)
Minor grape from France still reported to be the parent variety of the Petite Sirah grape varietal extensively planted in California, although DNA analysis disputes this.
(See Abourion above).
Grape resulting from the crossing of Riesling and a Sylvaner clone. Many consider it second only to the Kerner grape-cross as a frost-resistant Riesling type substitute for the better known Muller-Thurgau grape widely grown in Germany and elsewhere. Mild acid content discourages aging. Claimed to have excellent Riesling grape similarities in taste etc. Small acreages can now be found in the Okanagan region of western Canada, where it appears to do well.
ELBLING (aka Weisser Silvaner)
White wine grape of ancient origin mostly found in limited plantings in the Mosel-Saar-Ruhr region of Germany, used to produce a traditional dry, sparkling wine.
Minor grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy and used to make dry white wine. Better known for the full-bodied, sweet wine versions made with dried grapes, (i.e: Passito). Also a fortified version with 16% alcohol, (i.e: Liquoroso).
White wine grape widely planted in Hungary and mainly used to produce dry wines.
FALERNUM (aka "Falernian")
Ancient heavy, sweet red wine was made from a grape of the same name and known to the Romans. Admired for its longevity by the writers Horace, Ovid and Pliny the Elder. Modern grape descendent is named Aglianico.
FABER (aka Faberrebe)
Derived from the crossing of the Weissburgunder and Muller-Thurgau with the aim of achieving frost resistance. High acid grape used for blending in the Rheinhessen region of Germany.
Minor grape grown in the Piedmont region in Italy and having pleasant citric flavors. Mainly used in white wine blends.
Also known as Fer Servadou, Brocol, Braucol and Pinenc. The name apparently refers to the iron-hard woodiness of the vine. Grown to a limited extent in southwest France and used to impart color, intensity and aroma to regional red wine blends. The variety grown in Argentina and called by this name is now thought to be a clone of Malbec.
FETEASCA (aka Fetiaska)
White wine grape widely planted in Roumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. In the latter country the grape is better known as Leanyka.
(See Feteasca above).
Minor, but of ancient origin, grape grown in Campania region of southern Italy. Makes balanced, elegant white wine with attractive nut-like hints in the aroma.
Minor grape grown in Piedmont region of Italy and used to make both dry and spumante-style sweet red wines.
Minor grape once used in the distilled wines of the Cognac region of France. Related to the Gros Plant grape found mainly in the Muscadet region of the western Loire.
Widely grown grape in Hungary and used to make the ultra-sweet "Tokaji" white wines. Also grown in Austria where it is known as the white-wine grape Mosler. Smaller plantings are found in Slovenia (former Yugoslavia) where it is known as the Sipon grape.
At least three different vitis vinifera grape species are permitted to use the term "Gamay" as their lable-specified variety in the U.S.. The Gamay Noir, Gamay Beaujolais and Napa Gamay. At one time or another, each one were thought to be the true Pinot Noir of Burgundy, before it was discovered that many cepage clones existed.
The Gamay Beaujolais grape is a widely grown, early-ripening clone of Pinot Noir that can do well in the temperate climates of the northwest U.S. and if picked promptly will produce a good red wine.
GAMAY DE BOUZE
(see Teinturier below).
The Gamay Noir grape is a clone of Pinot Noir. The version thought to be responsible for the Beaujolais wines of France is the Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc, as distinct from other Gamay teinturiers - (i.e: Gamay vine mutations of ancient origin noted for their deep red coloring capacity in blends).
The Gamza grape, currently widely grown in northern Bulgaria, is identical with the Kadarka of Hungary. Capable of producing an excellent red wine of full-bodied, tannic content suitable for aging.
Alternate name for Grenache grape in Spain. (See below)
(See Alicante Bouschet above).
Ancient grape producing mainly mediocre white wines. Mainly grown in small acreages to be found in former East Germany or northern Austria.
Alternate name for the Carignane grape in Italy. (See above).
Alternate name for the Pinot Gris grape in both Austria and Germany. (See below).
A grape variety
found widely grown in Spain, (where it is known under the name Garnacha), the south of France and also in California. It is the main grape used in the red wine blend known as Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and, along with the Mourvedre, Cinsaut and some others, makes good wine blends under the appellation "Cotes du Rhone Villages". In the warmer regions of California the Grenache grape tends to produce red wines that are often "hot" due to high alcohol content and with a distinctive orange colored tint. Also used to make some of the better rose' wines of Provence in southern France.
(aka Trousseau Gris. See below).
Commonly grown grape in the Piedmont region of Italy. Makes light red color wine with very fruity aroma.
Widely grown grape in the temperate regions of France. Also known as the Groslot. Used as a blend with Gamay Noir and Cabernet Franc to create a somewhat rustic dry and semi-sweet Anjou rose' wine in the Loire region.
(see Grolleau above).
Minor grape related to the Folle Blanche grape formerly used in making the distilled Cognac brandy wines. Now found mainly grown in the Loire-Muscadet region of France and used for blending purposes.
White-wine grape used to create the famous fresh, fruity young wines of Austria. Also known as Veltliner. Best when consumed very young.
Grape created by crossing the Chasselas and a Muscat variety that contributes its ubiquitous aroma to wines made from the grape. Grown mostly in the Rheinhessen region of Germany and used mainly for sweet white wines of no particular distinction that can qualify for "Auslese" Pradikat standards in better vintages.
ITALIAN RIESLING (aka Riesling Italico in Italy)
Also known as the Welschriesling in Austria, Laski Rizling in Slovenia, (i.e: former Yugoslavia), and Olasz Rizling in Hungary. Origins of this grape appear to be obscure, although Romania has been suggested. In the best vintage years of Austria it will allow production of white "Auslese" Pradikat wines to TBA levels, with greater acidity than the german Riesling, but without the same potential for long life.
Minor grape grown in the Cahors area east of Bordeaux in France. Used to create local blend along with Malbec and Merlot that is a well-regarded robust red wine with pronounced aroma. Alone, the grape yields a full, hard and dark-red wine.
Native grape grown in Hungary. Used to make "Egri Bikaver", that countries best-known dry red wine blend. Currently the wine is a round, medium-bodied effort that ages fairly well, although the main ingredient is now the grape known as Blaufrankisch, thought to be a Gamay clone. Traditionally the wine was stronger and darker due to high Kardarka content, more deserving of its name "bikaver", which translates as "bulls blood". The grape is also currently widely grown in Bulgaria where it is known as the Gamza grape.
Grape developed from a cross between the Riesling and Schiava Grossa grapes. The latter variety is known as the Trollinger in Germany where it is mostly grown. Used to produce a Riesling-like white wine said to often reach "Auslese" Pradikat quality.
Alternative name in the Alsace region of France for the Savagnin grape.
Minor grape found mainly in the Alsace region of France. Used in generic blend "Vin d'Alsace" white wines along with others, such as Rauschling grapewine.
Local name in Slovenia (former Yugoslavia) for the Welschriesling grape.
Native, but well-known grape grown in Hungary. In Roumania and Bulgaria an identical grape is known as the Feteasca. Used to make mildly intense semi-dry popular white wine.
LEN DE L'EL
Minor local grape grown in the area southeast of Bordeaux in the Gaillac region of France. Used, along with Mauzac, to create sweet and sparkling white wine blends.
LIMBERGER (see Blaufrankisch above)
Also known as the Blauer Limberger or Lemberger. The latter name is used for the grape where found in Washington state in the U.S., which has sizable plantings of this variety at last report.
Semi-classic grape grown in the Bordeaux region of France and in other areas under the name Cot and in the Alsace has the local name Auxerrois. Also grown in the cooler regions of California. In Argentina the grape known as the Fer is now thought to be a clone of this varietal. Alone it creates a rather inky red, intense wine, so it is mainly used in blends, such as with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to create the world renowned red Bordeaux "claret" blend. In California and other areas it is increasingly being used for the same blending purpose.
Semi-classic grape cepage of ancient, probably Greek, origin. Widely grown in Italy as distinctive area sub-varieties, such as Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia Istriana etc. Used to produce dry and sweet white, and light red, wines with high alcohol content and residual sugar. Also widely grown in Portugal and the island of Madeira where the important wine-name Malmsey is an English word corruption of Malvasia.
Minor grape found mainly in Corsica. Used to produce local, high-alcohol wines blended from grapes of mainly Spanish origin such as the Grenache and others. The grape called by the same name in the Languedoc region of France is actually the Bourboulenc.
Semi-classic grape used in the traditional white wine blends of the French Hermitage-Rhone region. With long barrel-aging in the past, these wines used to require about ten years in the bottle before drinking. The other grape wine used in the blend was the Roussanne.
Minor grape mainly grown in the Gaillac region southeast of Bordeaux in France. Used, with Len de l'El to create mildly sweet and sparkling white blended wines.
Alternate name for Carignane grape in Spain. (See above).
MELON DE BOURGOGNE
Identical to the Muscadet de Bourgogne grape. (See below).
Alternate name for Pinot Meunier. (See below).
Minor grape mainly grown in Corsica and used in local high-alcohol wine blends along with Malvoisie and Sciaccarello red wine grapes.
Earliest grape planted in 17th century in what is now the state of California. Thought to have arrived in the America's by Spanish conquistadores importation. Known to be identical with the Pais grape widely grown in Chile and thought to originate from the Monica grape of Spain and Sardinia.
Minor grape grown in the Savoie region of France. Used to blend with a wine made from the Altesse grape to create a white wine called "Seyssell", often spritzy and crackling in nature due to incomplete fermentation when bottled.
Acidic red wine grape mostly grown in the Veneto region of Italy and used to create the "Valpolicella" and "Bardolino" blends, along with the Rondinella and Corvina grape wines.
(see Mourvedre below).
(See Burger above).
MONDEUSE (aka Mondeuse Noir)
Minor grape grown in the Savoie region of France. Usually blended with wine made from the Altesse grape to make the white wine known as "Roussette de Savoie". Some authorities consider the grape to be identical to the Refosco grape of Italy.
Minor grape native to Sardinia. Made into both a dry, red wine and also a sweet, spicy red wine. Thought by some to be the antecedent of the Mission grape of early California fame.
Minor grape mostly found growing in central and southern Italy. Generally made into a blend with Sangiovese in order to produce a fruity, round, yet balanced red wine with attractive aroma.
MOSCATEL DE ALEJANDRIA
Alternative name for Muscat of Alexandria grape when grown in Spain and Portugal.
MOSCATO DI CANELLI
(see Muscat Blanc below)
Austrian growers name for the hungarian Furmint grape.
Robust mediterranean grape variety widely grown in the southern Rhone region of France and mainly used to introduce color and body to the red wine blends. Select limited plantings in California, where the grape is often called the Mataro, produce a wine that sometimes develops the "green tea-like" herbal character that Rhone region french growers refer to as "animale". Also widely grown in Spain where it has the name Monastrell.
Early ripening cross officially developed from Sylvaner and Riesling, but some authorities now contend was actually from two clonal varieties of Riesling. Produces a flowery, yet acidic white wine that bears a modest resemblance to the parent Riesling grapewine. Widely planted in Europe, New Zealand and some parts of the cooler Northern regions of N. America. Known as Rivaner in parts of Europe.
Semi-classic grape grown in the Gaillac region of France, about 100 miles southeast of Bordeaux, and used in local white sweet wine blends. Incorrectly called Sauvignon Vert in California. Australian winemakers use it to produce a suberb sweet dessert wine known as "Liqueur Tokay of Australia".
MUSCADET DE BOURGOGNE
(aka Melon de Bourgogne). Temperate climate grape widely grown in the western-most area of the Loire region of France. The product juice goes into the making of the dry, tart white wine that is famous as "Muscadet de Sevres et Maine". The wine is light, fresh with distinctive fruit in its better years and is best consumed while young. Possibly grown also in California where recent research indicates some plantings may have been mis-named the Pinot Blanc.
Minor grape grown in the southern Rhone region of France and used to create color and body in red wine blends.
(aka Muskateller in Austria and Germany, Muscat Lunel in Hungary, Muscadel in South Africa, Muscat Frontignon in France and in Italy as the Moscato di Canelli). Members of the Muscat cepage family. Used mainly for making semi-sweet and sweet dessert wines. May be the oldest known grape, having a documented history of growth around the Mediterranean for many centuries. Should not be confused with the Muscat of Alexandria, the grape with a similar ancient history of growth around the Mediterranean.
(see Muscat Blanc above).
MUSCAT OF ALEXANDRIA
(aka Muscat Gordo Blanco or Lexia in Australia and Hanepoot in South Africa). Ancient grape species suitable for similar Mediterranean growing climates as the Muscat Blanc above. Makes sweet wines that are usually judged of inferior quality compared to those of the Muscat Blanc cepage varieties. The main use in California is for producing raisins. Also widely grown in Spain, where it is called Moscatel de Alejandria, and Portugal where winemakers in the latter country use it to make "Moscatel de Setubal" sweet wine.
Mid-19th century cross thought to be between the Chasselas and a Muscat varietal grape. Fairly widely grown in the cooler regions of central and eastern Europe where it is best utilized as a late harvest white wine. Limited plantings are also to be found in the Finger Lakes region of western N.Y., and elsewhere in North America.
The Napa Gamay is identical with the Valdeguie grape grown in France.
Minor grape grown in the region about 100 miles southeast of Bordeaux, France. Used for red wine and rose' blends along with Gamay Noir, Syrah and Duras grapes. The grape is thought by some to be known as Pinot St. George in California.
Minor grape grown in sections of the Burgenland region, and other areas, of Austria. Used in white wine blends such as are found in Gumpoldkirchen.
Recent crossing of Riesling and Sylvaner grape with the Muller-Thurgau. Widely grown in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany and used for blending purposes in the white wines of the region.
Grape cross between Muller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe varieties. Used for white wine blending in the Rheinhessen region of Germany. Produces flavorful wines that have earned the Pradikat rating in good vintages.
Widely grown in Chile, this grape is identical with the Mission grape of California and Mexico and the Criolla Chica of the Argentine.
Alternate name in Switzerland for the Chasselas grape.
Widely grown grape variety in California. Still thought by some to be the same stock as the minor french Durif grape, but recent DNA analysis has shown otherwise. Produces an dark red, tannic wine in the warm regions of California, used mainly as backbone for Central Valley "jug" wines. In the cooler northern regions can be made into a robust, balanced red wine of some popularity.
Grape grown in limited amounts. Found mainly in the temperate Bordeaux region St-Emilion subdistrict and used to make red wine later blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines.
Minor grape grown in the southern Rhone region of France. Occasionally used in red wine blends but finding less favor in the last decades of the 20th century.
Minor grape grown in the southern Rhone region of France and mainly used for creating vinosity and freshness in the regional red wine blends.
Minor grape grown in the Pyrenees region of France and one of the grapes used to create a red wine blend known as "Madiran". The grape is also known as Fer, (or Fer Servadou) and also, in other regions of France, is named Brocol or Braucol. The other grapewines in the "Madiran" blend are the Bouchy, Courbu and Tannat grapes. In Argentina the grape known as Fer is thought to be a clone of the Malbec grape.
Grape widely grown and successful in South Africa. Derived from the crossing of a Pinot Noir clone and Cinsaut. Used to make a popular, hearty red wine that ages well - (and often requires it). Also found widely grown in New Zealand and in smaller acreages in California.
Italian version of the grape known as Pinot Blanc. Grown mainly in the Trentino and Fruili regions of Italy. Usually made into a fresh, fruity white wine.
Mutation of the Pinot Gris vine. Grape is generally used to make dry, crisp, rather intense white wines in the Alsace, parts of Burgundy and in Austria. In the latter country it is known as the Weissburgunder. In California, a similarly named grape is used to make a fruity, rather subtle wine similar to the simpler versions of Chardonnay. Used in many of the better champagne style sparkling wines of California because of its acid content and clean flavor. However, recent research speculates that some plantings of this California grown grape varietal are actually the Melon de Bourgogne, (aka Muscadet de Bourgogne), a grape grown widely in the western reaches of the Loire region of France, and famous for producing the "Muscadet" tart white wines that match so well with shellfish meals.
Clone of Pinot Noir grown in western coastal regions of the U.S.. Also called the Malvoisie or Pinot Beurot in the Loire, and the former name in the Languedoc, regions of France. In Germany and Austria it is known as the Rulander or Grauer Burgunder where it is used to make pleasant, young, white wines in the southern regions. Versions named Auxerrois Gris and Tokay d'Alsace are also grown in the Alsace where the latter variety is used to make a golden-yellow wine with aromatic, fruity flavors that improves with a couple of years in the bottle - (but not to be confused with the Hungarian Furmint grape used to make the famous "Tokaji" sweet wines).
(aka Meunier). Clone of Pinot Noir cepage. Widely grown in the Champagne (Aube) region of France. Used in the blend with Pinot Chardonnay to make champagne sparkling wine.
Clone of Pinot Noir, used to make light red wines from grapes mainly found in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region of Italy.
PINOT ST. GEORGE
Grape found on small acreages in California and now thought to be identical to the Negrette of southern France. (See above).
Also known as the Blau Portugieser in Austria where it is grown and used to make a somewhat bland, dark red, medium-bodied wine.
PRIMITIVO (DI GIOIA
Minor grape mainly confined to Apulia in southern Italy where it produces a heavy, robust portlike red wine made from raisined grapes. In California, where it is now believed to have been translocated after poor trial results on Long Island in New York State during the mid-19th century, (and probably NOT by Count Haraszthy), it may have been accidentally renamed Zinfandel by error and is now famous as the states most popular varietal.
Minor grape grown in Veneto region of northern Italy and generally used to make both crisp, dry whites and also sparkling sweet wines often having a uniquely perfumed aroma.
Alternative name for Sangiovese Grosso grape. (See below).
Ancient minor grape still sparsely grown in the Alsace region of France. Used occasionally in the "Vin d'Alsace" generic wine blends along with other wines made from the Knipperle, Chasselas, and Muller-Thurgau grapes.
Ancient native grape grown in Friuli-Venezia-Giuia region of Italy. Made into what is often considered to be a robust, very intense red wine with moderate complexity that can match the heartiest meal course. According to Pliny the Elder the favorite wine of Livia, second wife of Augustus Caesar, was created from this grape. Limited plantings are also to be found in the cooler coastal regions of California. Some think the Mondeuse of the Savoie region of France is identical.
Alternative name used in Italy for the German Riesling grape.
Alternative name for the Muller-Thurgau grape cross currently widely grown in Luxembourg.
Widely grown in eastern Europe, this ancient vinifera reputedly originated in the Caucasus Mountains bordering Armenia and Turkey. Planted on small acreages in the Eastern U.S., mainly in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. Makes noticably acidic, balanced white wine with flavors somewhat reminiscent of a spicy Gewurztraminer and Johannisberg Riesling blend.
Red wine grape mainly grown in the Veneto region of Italy and used in blends such as "Valpolicella" and "Bardolina". The main grape used for these blends is the Corvina.
Austrian white-wine grape blended with Spatrot grape wine to give a superior zesty, intensely fruity wine.
Also known as Bergeron in the french Savoie region. Semi-classic grape grown in the Hermitage-Rhone and southern Cotes du Rhone region of France. Still occasionally incorporated into white wine blends, (e.g: with the Marsanne grape wine), because of its acidity and aroma but finding less and less favor.
Also known as Altesse. (See above).
Red-wine grape cross originating from Carignane and Cabernet Sauvignon parentage. Bred for use in the hot San Joaquin Valley region of California, it shows better promise in cooler coastal regions. Also found on small acreages in South Africa, Chile, Argentina and Australia. Currently used in jug-wines as "backbone".
Also known as the Rouchet or Roche. Minor grape grown in Piedmont region of Italy and used to make the aromatic "Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato" varietal wine.
(see Pinot Gris above).
Has no relationship to the Bordeaux district. Is the Cognac region local name for the Ugni Blanc grape from which is produced the wine used for distilling into the fortified wine known as "cognac brandy". Alone, it creates a thin low-sugar wine in cool temperate regions and must be distilled in order to concentrate the alcohol content and so make the strong fortified wine of some fame from the Cognac region of France.
Semi-classic grape grown in the Tuscany region of Italy. Used to produce the Chianti and other Tuscan red wines. Has many clonal versions, two of which seem to predominate. The Sangiovese Grosso clone Brunello variety is used for the dark red, traditionally powerful and slow-maturing "Brunello di Montalcino" wine. The other is the Sangiovese Piccolo, used for lesser Tuscan wines. Recent efforts in California with clones of this variety are very promising, producing medium-bodied reds with rich cherry or plumlike flavors and aromas.
(see Sangiovese above). Also known as the Prugnolo Gentile grape. Blended with Canaiolo (Nero) grape wine, it is the basic format used for all contemporary Chianti wines.
Alternative name for the Tocai Friulano grape of northern Italy. In California the grape known as Sauvignon Vert is probably a Muscadelle varietal clone.
Semi-classic grape used to create the celebrated "Vin jaune" of the Jura region of France. Is one of the few wines in which maderization is desirable and acquired with long bottle-aging. Thought by some to be identical with the Traminer grape still grown in that area of Europe. Sometimes called Klevner in the Alsace region of France.
Grape variety developed from a cross between Sylvaner and Riesling. Extensively planted in the Rheinhessen, Rheinfalz and Franconia regions of Germany. Used to produce full-bodied, aromatic white wines that can reach "Auslese" Pradikat standard in the better vintages.
Minor grape found in the Trentino region of Italy. Used for making full-bodied fruity, mellow red wines best served chilled and considered good value in better vintage years.
Known as Trollinger in south Germany. A variant found in the Trentino-Aldo region of Italy is known as Schiava Gentile.
Minor grape grown mainly in Corsica. Used in rustic red wine blends of local character along with Malvoisie and others.
Rare eastern European varietal originating from the Danube river basin region. In New York state, U.S.A, limited grape plantings are made into a sweet - (9.2% residual sugar) - fruit flavored white wine.
Grape derived from cross between Gewurztraminer and an unspecified table grape. Grown in limited amounts in Germany and used as small percentage amounts in blends.
(see Furmint above).
(aka Zierfandler). White wine grape widely grown in Austria and often blended with the Rotgipfler grape derived wine to make the popular white "Gumpoldskirchen" village wine.
(See Agiorgitiko above).
Minor grape grown in Austria and used to produce a rich-looking red wine with pronounced fruity, flowery aromas.
Known as Thompson Seedless in California. (See below).
(aka Silvaner). Widely grown in the Alsace region of France, Germany and Central Europe. Suited to temperate zones, the vine is high-yielding and the grape produces an "easy" white wine with lightly spicy, floral flavors and mild intensity. Once very popular in California, it seems to have fallen victim to changing fashion in recent years and been replaced by Johannisberg Riesling in current taste. It has also been crossed with the latter grape to yield the Muller-Thurgau hybrid grape and another hybrid version called Scheurebe as well as several other crossings of a similar nature.
Deeply colored and tannic minor grape grown in the Pyrenees region of France. One of four grapes whose wine is blended to make the full-bodied red wine known as "Madiran". The others are Bouchy, Courbu and Pinenc.
Also known as Teinturier du Cher. Of ancient origin, it is genetically present in the majority of varieties grown in order to add deeper redness to blends. Best known offspring is Alicante Bouschet. Many Gamay teinturiers are thought to be derived from Gamay de Bouze.
Minor grape grown in the southern Rhone region of France. Still allowed in local red wine blends as far as is known but finding less favor as the decades advance.
Grape grown in enormous quantities in the Central Valley of California, U.S.A. Used to produce a very neutral white wine for stretching blends consisting of select varietals in order to create the so-called "jug" wines made by the bulk producers. Most of the crop goes towards dried grapes, an apt product for the grape known to the rest of the world as the Sultana.
Widely grown in the Fruili region of Italy. Also to be found in Argentina. Thought to be identical with the Sauvignon Vert grape grown in Chile. Used to produce lightbodied white wines with flowery and nut-like flavors and should be drunk when young.
Alternate name for Pinot Gris grape - see above.
Parent grape of the popular Gewurztraminer clone. Still grown in France and in California but almost everywhere has been replaced by its much more intense and spicy offspring clone.
Alternate name for Ugni Blanc grape - see below.
German name for the Schiava red wine grape originating in the Tyrol region of Italy.
Mutated version of the Trousseau grape found in the Jura region of France. Thought to be the grape misleadingly known as the Grey Riesling in California although it has no relationship with the Riesling cepage. Something of a mystery grape, it may also be the variety known as Bastardo in Portugal and Cabernet Gros in Australia.
(aka Trebbiano). Widely grown in Italy and Southern France. There it produces a fruity, acidic white wine, best drunk when young and chilled. In the Cognac region of France it is known as the Saint-Emilion grape.
(aka Bonarda Novarese). Minor grape found in the Piedmont region of Italy. Used in red wine blends for creating roundness in the normally hard and tannic wines made with the Nebbiolo grape locally known as Spanna in the "Gattinara" area of Vercelli province.
Minor grape grown in the southern Rhone region of France. Used to create color, body etc. in local red wine blends.
(see Napa Gamay above). Warm region minor grape widely grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. Used to create backbone in the high alcohol "vin de table" red wine blends that originate from the Midi.
(see Gruener Veltliner above).
Minor grape grown and used for making light white and sparkling wines in the Fruili-Venezia-Giulia region of Italy.
Minor grape grown in Fruili-Venezia-Giulia region of Italy. Used to produce sweet sparkling and also dry white wines with fragrant aroma.
Grape grown in Liguria (Riviera) region of Italy and also in Northern Sardinia where it is used to produce full-bodied, dry white wines that go well with sea-food. Best when young.
Minor grape of ancient origin grown in Tuscany region of Italy. Traditionally produces dry, lean white wines that soften after two or more years bottle aging. Also used to create sweet golden white wines.
Minor grape found in the Piedmont region of Italy. Also known as Ughetta. Used to produce a red wine blend with Nebbiolo grape wine.
Semi-classic grape varietal grown in the northern Rhone region of France. Has full, spicy flavors somewhat reminiscent of the Muscat grape and violets. New plantings in California have created much anticipation among that States wine community. Viognier can vary from almost Riesling-like character to almost Chardonnay character, depending on production method.
(see Pinot Blanc above).
(See Elbling above).
(See also Italian Riesling above). Austrian name for the grape of ancient, but unknown, origins. May have Eurasian antecedents. Has no relationship to the german Riesling grape, which is called the Riesling Renano in Italy. Used for producing acidic dry and sweet white wines in Austria that have the label name "Riesling" which usually refers to this varietal, not the true german Johannisberg Riesling that is known by the name Rheinriesling. Widely grown in many countries of Eastern Europe.
Also known as the Spatrot grape. (See above).