Most Popular Wine Grape Varieties of the World

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There are over 5,000-10,000 types of wine grapes in the world, out of which 150 dominate the commercial space.

They come in all shapes and sizes, and each one has its own unique flavor profile. The major difference between wine grape types is their skin color.

White wine grapes have clear skin, while red wine grapes have dark-colored skin.

Wine grapes are grown around the world.

The climate, soil, and topography of each region create unique conditions that impact the grapevines and the wines they produce. Here are some of the key wine grape growing regions:

The Mediterranean climate of Southern France is ideal for growing wine grapes.

The warm, sunny days and cool nights allow the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, resulting in complex and flavourful wines.

Spain is another major producer of wine grapes. The country has a diverse range of climates, from the hot and dry conditions of Andalusia to the cooler temperatures of Catalonia.

This variety allows for a wide range of grape varieties to be grown, resulting in wines with different flavors and characteristics.

Italy is home to some of the most well-known wine regions in the world, such as Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto.

The country’s diverse landscape provides a range of microclimates that are perfect for growing different types of grapes.

Most Popular Wine Grape Varieties of the World

1. Albariño

Albariño is a white grape variety that is native to the Galicia region in northwestern Spain. But many believe it originated in northeastern Portugal.

The grape is also grown in Portugal, where it is known as Alvarinho. Albariño wines are typically light-bodied and have high acidity.

The wines are often described as having citrus and floral aromas, with a mineral quality. It is not as aromatic as a riesling or gewürztraminer. Albariño wines pair well with seafood dishes.

2. Barbera

Barbera is a red wine grape in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. Its origin is rather unknown.

The grape is known for its high acidity and is often used in blends with other grapes such as Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.

The grape is known for its high acidity and is often used in blends with other grapes such as Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.

The best examples of Barbera come from the hillside vineyards of the Asti and Alba regions.

3. Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a versatile red wine grape that can be used to produce wines of various styles, from light and fruity to rich and full-bodied.

The grape is native to the Bordeaux region of France, where it is often used as a blending grape in wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

In recent years, Cabernet Franc has become more popular as a varietal wine, with many winemakers producing single varietal wines made entirely from Cabernet Franc grapes.

The flavor profile of Cabernet Franc wines can vary depending on the style of wine being produced.

Light and fruity styles of Cabernet Franc will typically have flavors of red berries, while richer and fuller-bodied styles will have more intense fruit flavors, along with notes of spice and earthiness.

Regardless of the style, all Cabernet Franc wines will have moderate tannins and good acidity levels, making them well-suited for food pairing.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine grape that is grown in many regions around the world and is known to produce complex and ageworthy reds in the world.

The flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon wines can vary depending on the climate where the grapes are grown, but they typically have flavors of blackberry, cassis, and tobacco.

Cabernet Sauvignon wines are often full-bodied with high tannins and acidity.

5. Chardonnay

Chardonnay, often said to be a “winemaker’s wine”, is a white wine grape that is widely planted in many of the world’s wine regions.

It is considered to be one of the most successful wines in the world today.

It can be used to make in a variety of styles, from crisp and refreshing to rich and buttery.

Chardonnay wines are often described as having notes of citrus, stone fruits, and honey.

When aged in oak barrels, they can take on additional flavors of vanilla, toast, and spice.

6. Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape that can be used to produce everything from dry, still wines to sweet, dessert wines.

Chenin Blanc is native to the Loire Valley in France and is also grown in other regions including the United States.

Chenin Blanc wines are typically medium-bodied with fresh acidity and subtle floral or fruity flavors.

The grape is often used as a blending component in white blends, but can also be made into a delicious single varietal wine.

7. Gamay / Gamay noir

Gamay wine grape is a variety of red wine grape that is grown in the Burgundy region of France.
Gamay noir’s parents are pinot noir and gouais blanc.

The grape is most commonly associated with the Beaujolais nouveau style of wine, which is made from the young Gamay grapes that are harvested in October.

The Gamay grape is also used to make other styles of red wine, including those that are aged in oak barrels.

The Gamay grape has a light-bodied flavor with notes of cherry and raspberry. It can be used to make both fruity and dry wines.

The Gamay grape is relatively easy to grow, and it produces high yields of grapes.

8. Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape variety that is known for its distinctively aromatic profile.

The grape is believed to have originated in the Tramin region of Italy, from which it gets its name.

Gewürztraminer is a versatile grape that can be used to make a wide range of wines, from dry and crisp table
wines to rich and sweet dessert wines.

The grape’s signature aromas of lychee, rose, and spice makes it a popular choice for pairing with food.

Gewürztraminer wines are typically medium-bodied with high acidity and moderate alcohol levels.

Some of the most intense gewürztraminers in the northeastern region of Alsace, France.

9. Grenache

Grenache is a red wine grape that can be used to produce everything from light, fruity wines to rich, full-bodied wines.

Unlike popular belief, it has Spanish origin and is not French.

Grenache is typically high in alcohol and has moderate acidity.

The grape is also known for its strong aromas of red fruits like strawberries and cherries.

Grenache is often blended with other grapes, such as Syrah and Mourvèdre, to create complex, well-rounded wines.

10. Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is a white wine grape that is grown primarily in Austria. It is its well known for its white pepper aroma and flavor.

The grape is also known as Grüner, and it is the most planted grape variety in Austria.

The name “Veltliner” comes from the German word for “green”, and it refers to the greenish-yellow color of the grapes.

Grüner Veltliner wines are typically dry, with a medium body and high acidity.

The wines have aromas of white pepper, citrus, and stone fruits. Grüner Veltliner pairs well with food, and it is often served with Austrian cuisine such as Wiener schnitzel.

The grape is a natural cross of savagnin and German variety, St. Georgener.

11. Malbec

Malbec is a red wine grape that is originally from Cahors in southwest France.

The grape is now most commonly associated with Argentine wines, where it is the country’s signature red wine grape.

Malbec wines are typically dark in color with robust tannins and flavors of blackberry, plum, and spice.

The best examples of Argentine Malbec can rival the finest wines of the world.

12. Merlot

Merlot is a wine grape that is used to make red wine.

The name comes from the French word for blackbird, which is what the grape looks like when it is ripe.

Merlot is a medium-bodied wine with soft tannins and a fruity flavor.

It is often blended with other wines, such as CABERNET SAUVIGNON, to add depth and complexity.

Merlot is an easy-drinking wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with food.

13. Mourvèdre

Mourvèdre is a versatile red wine grape that can be used to produce wines of various styles.

Its most notable characteristic is its deep, inky color.

Mourvèdre wines are typically full-bodied and have high tannin levels. The grape is also known for its ability to age well.

Mourvèdre is originally from the Mediterranean region, and it is still most commonly found in France and Spain.

In France, the grape is often used as a blending component in wines from the Rhône Valley. It is also sometimes made into a varietal wine in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

In Spain, Mourvèdre is often used to produce fortified wines such as Jerez-style sherry.

The flavor profile of Mourvèdre wine can vary depending on how the grape is grown and vinified.

Wines made from Mourvèdre grapes that are grown in warm climates tend to be more fruity and less tannic than those made from grapes grown in cooler climates.

Wines that are aged in oak barrels will also take on some of the flavors imparted by the wood, such as vanilla or spice notes.

14. Muscat

Muscat wine grape is a variety of white wine grape.

The name “Muscat” can refer to the whole family of related grapes, which include over 200 grape varieties.

Muscat grapes are grown in many regions around the world, including France, Italy, Spain, Australia, and South Africa.

The flavor of Muscat wines can vary depending on the specific variety of grape, but they often have floral and fruity aromas with a touch of sweetness.

Muscat wines are typically light-bodied and low in alcohol.

They make excellent dessert wines and are also well-suited for pairing with spicy food.

15. Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a red wine grape variety that is native to the Piedmont region of Italy.

The name Nebbiolo is derived from the Italian word for fog, which is fitting given that the grape is often harvested in late October when fog often blanketsthe vineyards in the region.

Nebbiolo wines are known for their high acidity and tannins, as well as their complex aromas and flavors. Common aromas and flavors include roses, tar, truffles, and cherries.

The wines can be enjoyed young or aged, and are often described as being “ethereal” due to their light body and delicate flavor profile.

If you’re looking for a unique and interesting red wine to explore, Nebbiolo is a great option!

16. Pinot Gris

The Pinot Gris grape is a white wine grape that is related to the Pinot Noir grape.

The name “Pinot Gris” means “gray” in French, and the grapes can range in color from gray to pink to red.

The wines made from Pinot Gris grapes are typically light-bodied and have flavors of citrus, peach, and honey.

Pinot Gris wines are produced in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

17. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape that is grown in many regions around the world.

The flavor of Pinot Noir wine can vary depending on the region where it is produced, but it typically has notes of cherry, raspberry, and spice.

Pinot Noir wines are often medium-bodied with moderate tannins and acidity.

Many Pinot Noirs are aged in oak barrels, which can add flavors of vanilla and toast to the wine.

18. Riesling

Riesling is a white grape that is known for its delicate flavor and floral aroma.

It can be used to make a variety of wines, from dry to sweet.

Riesling is a popular choice for many wine lovers because of its unique flavor profile.

19. Sangiovese

Sangiovese is a red grape that is native to Italy.

The name Sangiovese comes from the Latin word sanguis Jovis, meaning “blood of Jupiter”.

The grape is used in many different Italian wines, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Sangiovese has high acidity and moderate tannins.

The flavor of Sangiovese wine can vary depending on the region where it is grown, but it typically has notes of cherry, strawberry, and earth.

20. Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape that originates from the Bordeaux region of France.

The grape is known for its high acidity and grassy flavor profile. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wine grapes in the world.

The grape is often used to make dry, crisp white wines that are meant to be consumed young.

Sauvignon Blanc wines are typically light-bodied with flavors of citrus, green apple, and gooseberry.

21. Sémillon

Sémillon is a white wine grape that originates from the Bordeaux region of France.

The grape is known for its high sugar content and its ability to produce wines with high alcohol content. Sémillon is also known for its honeyed, floral aromas and its rich, creamy texture.

The grape is often used in blends with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, and is also used to make dessert wines such as Sauternes.

22. Syrah

Syrah is a wine grape that is known for its deep, inky color and rich flavor profile. Often used in blends, Syrah can also be made into a standalone varietal wine.

When young, Syrah wines tend to be fruity and full-bodied, with notes of blackberry, plum, and pepper.

As they age, these wines take on more complex characteristics, developing earthy aromas and flavors of leather and game.

23. Tempranillo

Tempranillo is a versatile grape that can be used to produce a wide range of wines, from light and fruity to rich and full-bodied.

It is the most widely planted grape in Spain, where it is used to make Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and other classic Spanish wines.

Tempranillo has high acidity and moderate tannins, which give it a well-balanced structure. The grape’s flavors include blackberry, plum, tobacco and spice.

24. Viognier

Viognier is a white wine grape.

Viognier wines are aromatic, with floral and peach notes, and can range from dry to sweet.

The grape is also used in some dessert wines, such as those made in the Beaumes-de-Venise appellation.

25. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a versatile red wine grape that can be used to produce wines of various styles.

Zinfandel is often described as having flavors of blackberry, plum, and spice, making it a perfect match for hearty dishes like grilled steak or lamb.

Table Graves vs Wine Grapes

Wine grapes and table grapes are two types of grapes that are often confused because of their similar appearance.

Both wine grapes and table grapes can be either red or white, but wine grapes are typically smaller and have a thicker skin.

The main difference between wine grapes and table grapes is their purpose; wine grapes are used to make wine while table grapes are eaten fresh.

Wine grapes must be treated differently than table grapes in order to produce an enjoyable wine.

For example, wine grape skins contain tannins which give the wine its characteristic taste.

If not managed correctly, the tannins in wine can make it taste too astringent.

Table grape skins, on the other hand, are thin and delicate, so they don’t need to be removed before eating.

In addition to their different purposes, wine grapes and table grapes also differ in how they’re grown.

Wine grape vines are typically trained to grow up wires or trellises so that the fruit is exposed to more sunlight which helps them ripen evenly.

Table grapevines, on the other hand, can be left to grow freely on the ground or on a less structured support system.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albari%C3%B1o
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbera
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabernet_Franc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabernet_Sauvignon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chardonnay
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenin_blanc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vouvray_(wine)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loire_Valley_(wine)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamay
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gew%C3%BCrztraminer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrzer_(grape)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenache
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%BCner_Veltliner
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malbec
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mourv%C3%A8dre
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscat_(grape)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebbiolo
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinot_gris
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinot_noir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riesling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangiovese
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuscan_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauvignon_blanc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9millon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrah
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempranillo
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempranillo_blanco
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viognier
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinfandel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albari%C3%B1o
https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine/Species-and-varieties
https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine/France
https://www.britannica.com/plant/chardonnay-grape
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Beaujolais-wine
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Burgundy-wine
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gewurztraminer
https://www.britannica.com/topic/muscatel
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Riesling-wine


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About Linda Walker

Linda loves anything creative, whether it be arts and crafts or cooking for her friends and family. She loves nothing more than a good netflix binge, especially thriller ones. She's a bit of a night owl, and is usually up until the early hours of the morning working on her craft projects. She lives with six pets who are all her furry children.

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