Grape Varieties and their Characteristics
Grapes for White Wine
vanilla (if oaked).
- Butter, melon, apple, pineapple,
champagne grape and the best white
- White burgundy grape, the white
grape of the new world
- One of the easiest to grow and to vinify
- This white grape variety originated in the Charente district of France.
- Used to make the base wine for Cognac distillation.
- Generally light and off-dry (slightly sweet).
Sauvignon Blanc (So-veen-yawn BlahN)
- Distinctive aromatic grassy or gooseberry, Can be austere or buxo.
- Best in Sancerre, blended with Sémillon in Bordeaux. Great success in New Zealand,
now over planted everywhere
- White grape originally from Galicia in Spain,
- Gaining popularity and in Argentina for producing racy and aromatic white wines of
- Honey, orange, lime
- Sauternes, Increasingly important for Graves and white Bordeaux & Hunter Valley
Chenin Blanc (Vee-ohn-yay)
- fresh, delicate floral characteristics
- light, well- balanced wines ranging from dry to off-dry (slightly sweet) styles.
Grapes for Red Wine
Carbernet Sauvignon (Cab-air-nay So-veen-yawN)
- Blackcurrant, black cherry, tobacco, jammy, spice, and tannic
- King of red grape and available worldwide
- Needs aging, benefitting from blending with Merlot, Carbernet Franc or Syrah
Shiraz (Shee-rahz for new world) / Syrah (See-rah for old world)
- The great grown red grape giving tannic purple peppery wine which can mature
- Very important as Shiraz in Australia
- Planted Internationally.
gorgeous, succulent, minty, blackcurranty
- Adaptable grape, making the grape fragrant,
and plummy wines of Pomerol and (with
Carbernet Franc) St.-Emilion
- Easy to drink and not tanin
- International Varietal
Pinot Noir (Pee-noe Nwahr)
- Light, elegant, intense, and perfumed with raspberry or strawberry fruit and violets.
- The sulkiest, trickiest fine-wine grape in the world especially red burgundy.
- Shows exciting promise in California, Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and NZ
- Fruity adaptable grape peculiar to California
- Black berry like and sometimes Metallic flavour
- Can be gloriously lush
- Noble grape of Northwestern Italy's Piedmonte region, source of such powerful and
ageworthy red wines as Barolo, Barbaresco and Gattinara.
- Typical aroma and flavor descriptors include "violets" and "tar" and intense black fruit.
- Widely present in the south of France, in longuedoc-roussillon and provence.
- Black fruits, black pepper, licorice.
- Deep color, high tannins and alcohol.
- Strong grape with tobacco, pepper and blackberry
- Grown especially in Southern France, Spain, California, and South Australia
- Stand-alone or blended