The Best Grapes For Wine Making

April 13, 2014
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Red Grape Varieties

Barbera is widely planted in Italy and California and is full bodied with lots of tannins.
Cabernet franc is used in Bordeaux blends. It is full bodied with many fruit flavors.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most coveted wine in the world and is the mainstay of popular Bordeaux blends.
Gamay makes light, fruity wines often know as Beaujolais.
Grenache is the most planted wine in the world and are full in flavor and fruity.
Merlot is paired with Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux blends but also is popular because it has many characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon less tannin.
Pinot Noir is most often called Burgundy, has medium body low tannins.
Sangiovese is the mainstay of Tuscany’s Chianti and is also of medium body with low tannins.
Syrah/Shiraz makes stunning wines in the Rhone valley and in Australia. It is full bodied with lots of fruit.
Zinfandel is Californian’s own variety. It can be all things. Full bodied with lots of zest and spice, or light, sweet, and weak as in White Zinfandel wine.

White Grape Varieties

Chardonnay is the most desired grape variety in the world. It is the most full bodied white wine, especially when aged in oak.
Chenin blanc, know as Vouvray in France makes wine that is fragrant and high in acid.
Colombard is a simple light wine that is high in acid. It is a popular jug wine.
Gewurztraminer is slightly sweet with lots of florals and spices.
Muscat is a family of grapes that is sweet and floral.
Pinot blanc makes a light, dry wine similar to Chardonnay but without the complexity.
Pinot gris is also know as Pinot Grigio in Italy makes a pleasant medium body wine.
Riesling is the worlds greatest white variety and makes wines from dry to very sweet. Its roots trace back to Germany and Alsace.
Sauvingnon Blanc also know as Fume Blanc. It has high acid and often have a nice melon flavor and nose.
Semillon is full flavored, rich and aromatic. It is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc to soften the grassy flavor that is often present.
Trebbiano makes awfull wine, but it must be listed since it is the basis for Cognac and Brandy.
Viognier is full bodied and aaromatic from the Rhone valley. It is becoming very popular in California.