Discover Grape Varieties
Welcome curious wine lover! Here is our dictionary of grape varieties used to make the wines in our unique collection. You can explore using the A-Z links below or simply scroll through to discover your next favourite variety. Think we missed a delicious grape? Get in touch and let us know!
Agiorgitiko is a Greek red grape variety. It is a traditional Greek grape which still bears significant commercial importance in the Greek wine world. It displays a wide range of characteristics, from very tannic, to extremely soft, depending on the growing and winemaking process. Agiorgitiko is used to produce easy-drinking reds and rosés alike. Its fruity notes of plum, low acidity levels and intense colouring make for a well rounded, pleasant drinking experience.
Alvarinho (or Albarino in Spanish) is an Iberic white grape grown mainly in Northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain. It is known for its botanical aromas and can be compared to Voigner. The wine it makes is full-bodied, high in acidity and with slightly higher alcohol content. The exuberant botanical notes of this grape include peach, lemon balm, passion fruit, orange zest, lemon, jasmine and orange blossom.
Antão Vaz is a white Portuguese grape which produces full-bodied, well-structured wines. It has mineral notes and aromas of tangerine peel and ripe tropical fruits.
Arinto is a white grape indigenous to Portugal. It is highly adaptable to a wide range of climates and terrains and has therefore spread to most wine regions. It produces high-acidity wines with lemon notes which pair well with fresh salads, cold appetisers and crustaceans.
Assyrtiko was described by Decanter magazine as Greece's most striking white grape. It originates from the volcanic island of Santorini. The black, ash-rich soil of the island and the traditional approach to viticulture used means that this grape can produce surprising mineral and flinty aromas. Because of its particular taste, Assyritiko wines pair well not only with fish and seafood, but also grilled meats.
Bacchus, a white wine grape created by Peter Morio in 1933 by crossing Silvaner x Riesling with Muller-Thurgau, was named after the Roman name of Greek wine god Dionysus. It was released for general cultivation in 1972 and is today one of England's most planted grape varieties. It's easy to manage and has the potential for high must weights, while retaining its acidity, so can make wines with a powerful flavour not too dissimilar from Sauvignon Blanc. Outside of England it remains highly planted across Germany.
Blauburger is a red grape variety from Austria. It is currently also grown in Czech Republic and Hungary. It is characterised by an intense colour but it has remarkably low acidity and tannins. The resulting wine is intense in colour but lighter in taste and body, with tart berry aromas.
Blaufrankisch is an Austrian red grape variety currently grown in several other countries such as Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia and Slovakia. It has a high tannin content and spicy character. Blaufrankisch wine has deep wood berry and cherry notes and a high acidity levels. Blaufrankisch wines are more difficult to approach when young, but have a good ageing potential, and pair excellently with any read meat dish such as a gourmet burger or steak.
Borgonja (same as Gamay)
Cabernet Franc is an overlooked French variety, known to be the direct parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and an ancestor of Merlot. It is suited to cooler, more continental climates and ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. Its most legendary style is in the wine Cheval Blanc, showcasing Cabernet Franc's ability to age and develop exceptional character. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc is grown in Italy and taken extremely seriously in Hungary, especially in the southern region of Villany where Cabernet Franc thrives.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most well-known and most-planted grape variety in the world. Thanks to Robert Parker and other Bordeaux enthusiasts, plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon have more than doubled since 1990 to nearly 300,000 hectares in 2010. Its parents are Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Today it is called an "international variety" as you will find it planted all over the world. The grape's high ratio of pip to pulp and thick skins contribute high levels of tannin, which adds structure and improves the ageability of red wines.
Carignan is a red grape variety originally from Spain but currently grown around the globe. It thrives in warm and dry climates, which is reflected in its high tannin. This results in a wine with a rough flavour and high in acidity. The grape however is masterfully grown and blended to produce a number of fantastic wines with Mediterranean flavours.
Castelao is a Portuguese red grape. It is the most widely grown red grape variety in Portugal, mostly in the southern part as it thrives in dry, sandy soils. The wine it produces is harshly tannic when young. However, it is often blended with over varieties to produce wines with less ageing potential but more easy to drink in their youth.
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety originating from Bugundy in France that is today the most-planted white wine grape in the world (apart from the Spanish grape Airen, which is planted in La Mancha in Spain in huge quantities). Chardonnay is famed for its versatility, making wines as steely and crisp as Chablis to the honeyed, tropical styles of South Australia and South Africa. It is easy to grow and has a wonderful affinity with oak, making it a top choice to mature or barrel-ferment. Chardonnay is also one of the most important ingredients in sparkling wine, especially Champagne, where it remains one of the noble varieties.
Chenin Blanc is a white grape variety from the Loire Valley in France, however nowadays it is grown in many other regions, most notably South Africa. Its high acidity makes it highly versatile, allowing it to produce excellent sparkling wines and sweet desert wines alike. This means Chenin Blanc wines are also highly versatile when it comes to food pairings. Light and dry wines pair well with white meats and fish and fresh salads. The sweeter wines are good at balancing the spices and heat of Indian, Thai and Mexican cuisine. More balanced medium-dry wines complement creamy sauces and rich pât’s. The characteristic notes of Chenin Blanc are mineral, honey, greenages and damp straw.
Cinsault is a red wine grape originally from France. It is however also grown in a number of North African countries such as Algeria, Lebanon and Morocco. The grapes have a dark but thin skin which make it particularly well suited for producing lighter reds and rosés. It has a soft floral perfume, low acidity and tannin levels and strong aromatic qualities.
Dornfelder is a German red grape variety. It is characterised by thick skin and high levels of anthocyanins (the compounds giving red grapes their characteristic red-purple colour), resulting in deeply coloured wines with a soft, velvety texture to the palate. Dornfelder wines present fair but not excessive amounts of acidity and fragrant floral notes and dark ripe fruits such as loganberries and blackberries.
Feketeleanyka (same as Feteasca Neagra)
Fernão Pires is a white grape variety from Portugal. It is known to produce wines with a spicy aromatic character combined with softer exotic fruit notes. Fernão Pires wines are best drank young, even though often the grape is blended with others.
Feteasca Neagra (the ‘black maiden’) is a Rumanian red grape variety. This is an ancient variety stull cultivated in several parts of the Balkans. It produces deep reds with intense ruby shades and sharp blackcurrant flavour, which becomes softer, smoother and more palatable upon ageing.
Feteasca Regala is a Rumanian white grape variety from Transylvania. It is currently cultivated in a number of other regions among which Slovakia, Hungary and Austria. It produces high-quality wines with high tannin and sugar contents. Feteasca Regala wines are therefore highly alcoholic, full-bodied, sophisticated whites with great ageing potential.
Furmint is a white Hungarian grape variety, known for being the main grape in Tokaji dessert wines. It is an extremely versatile grape which can produce great sweet and extremely dry wines alike. It's been described by the Guardian as being Hungary's response to Gruner Veltiner. However, it is also being grown in Slovakia, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia. The wheat-golden colour wine it produces can vary in aroma from smoke, pear and lime in dry wines, to marzipan, blood orange, apricots and barley sugar in sweet wines.
This delicious French grape variety is behind many light to medium bodied red wines. It is famous around the world as the main ingredient in Beaujolais, producing fruity, easy-going wines with flavours of red berry fruits. More mature styles can often be tannic and show similar characteristics to the closely-related Pinot Noir variety.
Grasevina (same as Olaszrizling and Welschriesling)
Grauburgunder (same as Pinot Gris)
Grecanico Dorato, which is the same as Garganega, is and Italian white grape variety. It is an ancient vine, whose origins were uncertain until recent DNA profiling confirmed it to be from Italy. The wine it produces has got the perfect acidity levels which allow it to age beautifully for a decade or more if stored in the right conditions.
Grenache is one of the most widely planted red grape varieties in the world. Originally from Spain, it thrives in dry and hot environments, therefore performing well in regions such as Sardinia, Australia and California. Grenache wines are low in acidity, tannins and softer in colour. Its aromatic notes are red berry fruits such as strawberries and raspberries and subtle spicy notes of white pepper. Grenache wines are high in alcohol content and are prone to oxidation, so upon ageing they acquire tar and leather notes.
Grenache Blanc is a white grape variety related to the red grape Grenache. It has got medium acidity and can produce a higher alcohol percentage than the average white. The most apparent notes in Grenache Blanc are green plum, citrus zest, honeysuckle and buttery brioche.
Grillo is an Italian grape variety from Sicily. It is most famously used to produce Marsala wines but not only. The wine produced has a taste of Sicilian sun, and pairs perfectly with seafood, grilled vegetables and fresh summer salads.
Gruner Veltliner is Austria's star grape variety. Its wonderfully unique, producing zippy and mineral white wines. Often these wines are characterised by spicy pepper, herbs, floral aromatics, peach and apple. More mature Gruners develop a smoky, plush fruit style with a viscous and honeyed texture. All great Gruner Veltliner balances these flavours with lively acidity and a satisfying finish.
Harslevelu is and Hungarian white grape variety grown in the regions of Solo and Tokaji. It is commonly mixed with Furmint to produce the famous dessert wine Tokaji. The wine produced from this variety is more commonly compared to the Austrian Gruner Veltiner, and similarly, makes for an amazing pairing to most vegetarian and vegan recipes. Its freshness evokes memories of springtime and aromas of lime, white flowers and white pepper.
Irsai Olivér is a Hungarian white grape variety. It is a fairly recent variety that offers table wines comparable to Pinot Grigio but more distinctively fragrant, like Muscat. Irsai Olivér wines have low acidity and fresh citrus fruit notes that pair well with white meats and fish and fruity desserts.
Kadarka is a red grape variety grown in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. It is the main grape in Hungarian Red cuvées like Bull’s Blood. It makes full, dark wines with dark fruit and spicy aromas.
Kalecik Karasi is a Turkish red grape from the Ankara region. It is used to make some of Turkey’s best reds. The grapes are blue-black in colour with thick skins. The wine produced is ruby in colour, with a well-balanced flavour. The main aromas are strawberries, raspberries, vanilla and cocoa. Kalecik Karasi wines pair well with Mediterranean dishes such as grilled meats, and tomato-based dishes.
Kekfrankos (same as Blaufrankisch)
Keknyelu is a rare Hungarian white grape. The grapes themselves are very small and for this reason Keknyelu was erroneously believed until recently to be the same variety as the Italian Piccolit. The wines it produces are considered very high quality and range from medium-bodied whites with stone fruit and floral aromas to full-bodied wines with a smoky character.
Kerling is a German white grape variety. The wines it produces are comparable to Riesling, with good acidity and a high sugar content.
Kiralyeanyka (same as Feteasca Regala)
Koshu is a white grape variety grown primarily in Japan, in the Yamanshi prefecture. Koshu wine is characteristically straw coloured, delicate and fresh. It has a soft aromatic bouquet of fruits with notes of citrus and peach which are the perfect accompaniment to the clean and minimalist flavours of Japanese cuisine.
Loureiro is a Portuguese white grape. Its name derives from its aroma which is reminiscent of laurel flowers. It is mainly cultivated in the northern region of Vinho Verde, and produces crisp and fresh wines perfect for a white wine spritzer.
Madeleine Angevine is a French Vitis Vinifera variety popular in the Loire Valley in France. It can also be found in England, Washington State in the USA, across Germany and in central Asia. It was originally a crossing between Madeleine Royale and Précoce de Malingre grapes in 1857. Today the variety is popular because it ripens early, making it an attractive selection for cool climate vineyards. The aromas of the wines are often floral with a fruity body.
Malagousia is a white grape variety from Greece. It nearly went extinct in the early 20th Century, however thanks to a revival in the 1970s, we can still enjoy the flavours of this special grape today. Its most notable aromas are rose, white flesh fruits such as pears, mango and peach, herbs like sage and geranium and citrus fruits. Malagousia is versatile and can produce crisp dry wines and delicious sweet wines alike.
Malbec, a French grape variety, is today most famously known for its varietal red wines in Argentina. It has disadvantages in a cooler climate, so Malbec is better suited to warmer areas. Compared with Merlot, Malbec can taste of more "rustic" savoury fruit.
Malvazija-Istarska is an indigenous Croatian white grape. It is mainly grown in the Istrian peninsula where the vineyards are up to 400 m above sea level. This is reflected in its mineral aromas and strong alcohol content. With notes of citrus, lemon, meadows and grass and a pinch of salt, Malvazija-Istarska wine makes for a pleasant and fresh drinking experience.
Mavrud is an ancient, indigenous Bulgarian grape variety. It gets its name from the Greek word "mavro" meaning "black", which describes the grape's deep blue-black colour. Mavrud is most widely grown in Bulgaria's Thracian valley, but can also be gound across Eastern Europe and Greece. Mavrud thrives best in warm climates with deep, alluvial soils, and produces wines that are crimson in colour and often tannic. The tannins are balanced by rich blackberry and prune notes, which often leads to Mavrud being described as "juicy" in style.
Melnik, also known as Siroka Melniska is a red Bulgarian grape variety. Melnik wines are ruby red in colour with tobacco, dried fruit, cherry, chocolate and vanilla.
Merlot is a deep blue grape variety made famous by its use in Bordeaux blends and as varietal wines in the famous sub-regions of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. It loves clay soils and moderate climates, which lead to medium tannin and a juicy character with everything from red berries in cooler years to black plum and chocolate in the warmest years. It is the world's second-most planted grape variety with over 260,000 hectares planted across the world.
Merwah is a white grape thought to be indigenous to Lebanon. It mainly grown by Chateau Musar in the Bekaa Valley. Merwah typically produce rich whites with citrus and nut flavours but their low acidity can make them difficult to balance.
Moaschofilero is a white grape variety originally from Greece. It is intensely aromatic and it is widely grown in Greece to produce dry whites with spice and bold floral perfume. This ancient variety makes refined wines which make for a sophisticated accompaniment to a wide variety of foods, from Middle-Eastern cuisine, to seafuood dishes and sushi.
Mourvedre is a French red wine grape widely grown around the globe, so much so that it is known by at least 95 other names. Young Mourverde wines are intensely herby, while vinatges can produce highly refined notes of dark fruits such as blackberries, meaty and gamey flavours. Mourvedre is also widely used to produce rosés in New World wineries.
Muller-Thurgau is a Swiss white grape also widely grown in Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, England, and several other regions. The wine it produces is generally low in acidity with peachy aromas and a range of fruity flavours. Muller-Thurgau wines are best consumed young with the exceptions of wines from Northern Italy, which have ageing potential.
Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains
Known simply as "Muscat", this variety is originally of Greek origin but made widely popular by the Muscat wines of Italy (where it is known as Moscato). Today, Muscat is grown all over the world and creates a highly aromatic style of wine.
Tamianka is an indigenous Bulgarian clone of the Muscat variety.
Narince is a white grape from Turkey. It produces full-bodied wines with full acidity. The wine is straw yellow in colour with fruity notes of plume, green apple, lime and pineapple.
Nerello Cappuccio is an Italian red grape variety grown primarily in Sicily. It has been shown, using DNA ancestry, to be derived the famous Sangiovese grapes. Nerello Cappuccio is commonly used as a blending grape, as it presents a beautiful intense red colour and high levels of alcohol content. Its tasting notes are quite cryptic and subtle and range from vanilla and wood, to tobacco and cherry. Nerello Cappuccio is closely related to Nerello Mascalese.
Nerello Mascalese is a ‘sibling’ red grape variety to Nerello Cappuccio and is also grown primarily in Sicily. Unlike its brother, Nerello Mascalese is often used to make varietal wine (i.e. single grape wine), due to its more refined quality. Its wine is an explosion of red fruit flavours, such as wild strawberry, spices, primarily cinnamon and florals of dried desert herbs. It also has a distinctive mineral quality of volcanic rocks, likely due to the fact that it is often grown at the feet of Mount Etna. It presents a beautiful ruby red colour with garnet undertones. Nerello Mascalese wine pairs well with Mediterranean vegetarian dishes featuring aubergines, peppers, tomatoes and cow or sheep cheeses with strong flavours, such as pecorino. However, it peris well also with oily fish, like sardines and mackerel, and most meats.
Nero D’Avola is an Italian red grape variety from Sicily. It produces a wine that is deep ruby and cherry red in colour with a particularly full body comparable to Syrah or Pinotage. Its fairly high acidity, alcohol and tannin content making for an easier drinking experience than wines like Barolo. The primary tasting notes are of cherry, black plum, licorice, tobacco and chilli pepper. Due to intense flavours and colour, Nero D’Avola wine pairs well with read meats such as BBQ meats and gourmet burgers. However, it can also pair well with vegetarian dishes, as long as these are rich in umami and smoky flavours, such as black beans, black lentils, smokes tempeh or tofu and shiitake mushrooms.
Oibadeh is a white grape variety from Lebanon. Most notably grown by Chateau Musar in the Bekaa Valley, it produced a wine high ins sugar with low acidity. Its creamy texture with notes of lemon and honey pairs well Mediterranean dishes such as spicy vine leaves and moderately spicy cuisines as well.
Olaszrizling (same as Welschriesling and Grasevina)
Petit Verdot is a red grape variety originally from France, but currently being grown around the globe. It is rarely used to make single variety wines but widely deemed to be a highly desirable blending grape. Its boldness in colour, tannin content and floral bouquet of violets mean that it can really add something special to a wine, although it is used with caution, often mixed at less thank 10%. Its main aromas are black cherry, plum, violet, lilac and sage with hints of gravel-like minerality.
Pinotage is South Africa’s signature red grape variety. It is a very dark grape which results in wine with high anthocyanin and tannin content. It historically had a bad reputation, and was primarily used for commercial, low-quality wines due to the variety-s high productivity and extremely dark colour (which allowed the wine to be significantly diluted). However, recently South African winemakers triggered a Pinotage Renaissance, developing ad hoc methods to enhance the flavours and qualities of this special grape. Varietal Pinotage wines are characterised by notes of plum, blackberry, tobacco, tar and licorice. Pinotage makes the perfect BBQ red as it pairs perfectly with juicy red meats and smoky flavours.
Pinot Auxerrois, a French grape variety sometimes known as Auxerrois Blanc, is popularly grown across Alsace in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and - increasingly - in English vineyards like a'Beckett's. It is a sibling of Chardonnay, so when used in sparkling wines it's not too far from a Blanc de Blancs in style. Pinot Auxerrois favours limestone soils and ripens earlier than Pinot Blanc.
Pinot Gris (same as Grauburgunder)
Pinot Meunier is a red grape variety thought to have originate in France but is currently also being grown in Germany and the USA. Pinot Meunier is often used in the production of sparkling wine and is one of the three primary grape varieties allowed in Champagne. In Germany, it was traditionally used to produce still reds under the name of Schwarzriesling but has recently started to be used for sparkling wine production in Germany as well. Pinot Meunier is rarely used to make varietal wines and is often blended with other grapes.
Pinot Noir (same as Spatburgunder)
Pinot Noir has a long history of producing some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world (think Champagne and Red Burgundy). It's also a notoriously difficult grape variety to grow, requiring a lot more attention than varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard. The style in red wines can vary from a light to medium bodied still wine, while in sparkling wine it adds character, wild berry fruit and structure to grapes like Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir also has a great affinity for oak maturation.
Plavac Mali is a Croatian red grape grown in Istria and Dalmatia. It is most famously used in Dignac wine. Plavac Mali produces a wine that is high both in alcohol content and tannins, with aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, pepper and spices.
Pokdum is a red grape variety from Thailand. It produces medium-bodied red wine with aromas of cherry, plum and strawberry.
Portugieser (also Blauer Portugieser) is an ancient red grape variety grown in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Germany. It produces a light-bodied, fresh and tart red and is also used to produce rosés.
Precoce , also known as Fruhburgunder, is a red grape variety derived from Pinot Noir, ad currently grown primarily in Germany. The name ‘Precoce’ refers to its early ripening characteristic, which means it performs particularly well in colder wine regions. It produces wines with rich and opulent aromas, closely reminiscent of those of Pinot Noir, with aromas of cherry and earthy florals. However, Precoce wines typically have lower acidity and tannin levels.
Regent is a dark skinned hybrid variety resistant to most fungal diseases, especially downy mildew, making it a popular red grape for English vineyard plantings. It was created in 1967 by Gerhardt Alleweldt by crossing Diana (Silvaner x Muller-Thurgau) with Chambourcin. It is most widely planted in Germany and Belgium.
Reichensteiner is a white grape variety crossing (Müller-Thurgau and Madeleine Angevine x Calabreser Froehlich) originating from Germany in 1939. It is predominantly planted in Germany, England and New Zealand due to its high sugar content, which makes it ideal for a cool climate. Generally, Reichensteiner is used in blends.
Riesling, hailing from the Rhine in Germany, is often the favourite variety of wine experts owing to its complex palate and ability to age. Most Riesling wines are varietal, rather than blends, and are rarely oak-matured. There are over 48,000 hectares of Riesling planted across the globe and this figure is growing daily. Most commonly, Riesling is found in Germany, Austria, the Alsace in France, Australia and the United States. It can vary in style from cool, crisp apple notes and searing acidity, through the peachy, medium bodied styles of the Alsace, to the aged, mature Spatlese sweet styles of the Mosel Valley, which are honeyed and smoky, sometimes smelling of a petrol-like character.
R’katsiteli is a white Georgian grape variety which is amongst the oldest grape varieties in the world. It is usually produced for dessert wines and port but due to its naturally high alcohol level, attempts to make R’katsiteli sparkling wines have been unsuccessful. The wines it produced are considered well-balanced, with spicy and floral notes in the drier wines, and nutty caramel nuances in the dessert wines.
Roditis is a pink-skinned grape variety from Greece which produces white wine. It is an ancient grape variety which performs well in hot countries and is currently also grown in Bulgaria. The wine it produces is high-acidity, easy drinking and an easy pairing with most foods commonly associated as pairing well with white wines, think fish, white meats, vegetarian dishes.
Rondo is a dark-skinned red grape from Germany. The wine it produces is ruby-red and is mostly used for blending.
Rumeni Plavec is an indigenous Slovenian white grape. The wine it produces is greenish-yellow, acidic and with a low alcohol content. Because of this, it is used for blending with other grape varieties.
Sangiovese is an Italian red grape variety. It is an old grape variety whose name means ‘the blood of Jupiter’, as the wine it produces is characteristically medium to dark red in colour. Sangiovese wine is high in acidity and tannins, therefore having discrete ageing ability. The main notes are red cherry, plum, strawberry and fig but also some interesting spice notes such as pepper, notes of tobacco and smoke, herbs such as thyme and oregano, and finally mineral hints of clay. Sangiovese wines pair excellently with (needless to say) Italian dishes rich in herbs and tomatoes. However, it also pairs perfectly with slow-roasted meats, cured meat and cheese platters.
Saperavi is a red grape variety native to Georgia. It produces deep red wines that are suitable for extensive ageing.
Sargamuskotaly, also known as Muscat Lunel, is one of the oldest European grape varieties. It originates from southern France where it is most commonly grown near Lunel and Frontignan. It is currently mainly grown in the Tokaji region of Hungary. This white grape generally produces semi-sweet or sweet wines with elderberry aromas.
Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape variety originally from France. It is currently being grown worldwide, lending itself to a range of different climates and soils and consistently producing distinctively dry, crisp and aromatic wines. To the nose, Sauvignon Blanc have a piercing and sharp, in contrast to the creamy, woody more understated notes of the equally common Chardonnay. The aromatic notes are generally green, of gooseberries, nettles and broken asparagus stems. This greenness and freshness is what makes Sauvignon Blanc so special, and the winemaking process attempts to preserve these characteristics. These wines are to be enjoyed as young as possible. They pair well with a variety of foods, from fresh, uncomplicated cheeses such an organic goats cheese, to delicate white fish and fresh seafood. For vegetarian dishes, they pair well with most green vegetables and herby dishes.
Scheurebe is a white Austrian and German grape variety. It has good levels of acidity although does not have the same ageing potential as other German whites such as Riesling. The wine it produces is intensely aromatic and full-bodies, and usually it is used for sweet wine production.
Schonberger is a red grape variety from Germany currently also widely grown in England. It is early ripening and produces a wine that its soft and delicate but also full of fruity flavours and aromas.
Semillon is a white grape originally from France, but currently grown worldwide. The grape is characterised by low acidity, thin skins and an almost oily texture. It is used in the production of both dry and sweet wines. Dry Semillons are full-bodied, with combined flavours of citrus, honey and grass. For Semillon to be able to produce sweet wine, the grapes need to have been affected by the Botyris fungus. The resulting product enhances the sweetness and natural grape berry flavour to produce delicious wines that pair well with flavourful foods like blue cheese, foie gras and shellfish.
Seyval Blanc is a French hybrid vine variety that ripens early, making it ideal for cool climates. Today it is mostly grown in England, Canada and the East coast of the United States. It produces wines that are crisp with notes of lemon. Its minerality has been compared to White Burgundy, especially when it goes through malolactic fermentation (where the green apple-like malic acids are converted into milky lactic acids).
Smederevka, also known and Dimiat in Bulgaria, is a white grape variety grown in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Slovenia. The wine it produces is quite acidic and is usually used for blending.
Shiraz, widely known as Syrah in the Old World, is one of the most fashionable and oldest grape varieties in the world. It is the world's sixth most planted grape variety (as of 2010) and originates from southeast France. It famously makes up the Hermitage blend, arguably the Rhone's most famous style of wine. It is mostly planted in France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and California. While wines labelled Syrah tend to be more savoury, wines labelled Shiraz are spicier and jammier as they are often grown in warmer climates.
Solaris is a white grape originating from Germany, created in 1975 by Norbert Becker who crossed the variety Merzling with a Zarya Severa x Muscat Ottonel crossing creatively called 'Gm 6493'. Solaris received varietal protection in 2001 and is an EU-approved grape variety for quality wine production. It was bred to be resistant to fungal attacks and is popular in Germany, England, Denmark and Sweden. Solaris produces nutty, banana-like sweet wines or dry, fruity styles of white wine.
Spatburgunder (same as Pinot Noir)
Tamaioasa Roamneasca is a Romanian white grape used for the production of semi-sweet aromatic wines. Its honey-golden colour and flowery bouquet, alongside moderate alcohol content make it the perfect dessert wine.
Tamianka (same as Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains)
Tannat is originally from the Madiran area of France and makes highly tannic, powerful red wines. This has led to it predominantly being blended in French wines. However, in Uruguay where the climate is much warmer, the Tannat variety can make impressive, Malbec-like wines that are ready to drink after just 3-4 years. Tannat, now Uruguay's flagship grape variety, produces rich, full bodied wines with black fruits, spice and velvety tannins. Recently, Tannat was discovered to have 3-4 times more antioxidants than other red wines making it one of the healthiest options to choose.
Tempranillo is red grape variety native of Spain. Tempranillo is currently grown worldwide and widely recognised as being capable of making palatable full-bodied reds. Tempranillo is the main grape variety used in Rioja. Tempranillo wines are ruby red in colour, with aromas and flavours of dark berries, plum, tobacco, dried fig, cedar, leather and waxy herbs. Tempranillo is rarely drank on its own and is more often blended with Grenache. Tempranillo, doe to its dark nature and aromas is an obvious good pairing to red meats, but it is highly versatile and pairs well with hearty vegetable dishes, smoke flavours, rich pasta sauces and Mexican food.
Teran is an ancient red grape variety grown mainly in Slovenia and Croatia. It has a wine with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). It has a ‘hare-blood’ colour and prevalent aromas of raspberries on the nose. Teran does not age well, and after a year ca become bitter and flat. Teran is best enjoyed young and paired with prosciutto and other cured meats, homemade bread and game dishes.
This grape is the Croatian name for the Gewurztraminer variety.
Verdelho is a white grape variety grown throughout Portugal, although it is most commonly associated with the beautiful Atlantic island of Madeira. Verdelho is a highly fruity wine with and oily texture, and aromas of tropical fruits and honeysuckle. It pairs well with a variety of foods but primarily its is perfect enjoyed with seafood such as mussels or oysters but its tropical fruit nature makes it good for pairing with spicy Asian cuisines such as Thai and Indian.
Viognier is a white grape variety currently grown worldwide, especially South Africa and New Zealand. It produces full-bodied wines with distinctive fruity and floral aromas and flavours of apricots, flowers, honeysuckle, ripe peaches and undernotes of musk. Viognier wines are low in acidity which makes them less amenable to ageing. The highly aromatic quality of this wine makes it a perfect pairing to spicy cuisines such as Thai.
A native of the Balkans and most at home in North Macedonia. Vranec is a dark, powerful, dry red grape – almost black which is where the variety gets its name. Vranec means ‘black stallion.’ Vranec gives opulent aromas of black fruit, blackberries, overripe Marasca cherry, prunes, and subtle notes of game. On the palate, these wines show refreshing acidity, are full-bodied with velvety well-rounded tannins, and pleasantly warm but high alcohol content. This complexity makes them ideal for ageing in oak and rewards time in bottle with subtle, developed flavours.
Welschriesling is a white grape most notably grown in Austria, Hungary (Olaszriezling), Croatia (Grasevina), Italy and other bordering regions. Welschriesling wine is high in acidity with notes of green apples and lemon and a fruity bouquet. However, some Welschriesling wines such as Auslese also present considerable sweetness with notes of exotic fruits and honey alongside a softer, honey-gold colour.
Wurzer is a white grape variety from Germany. Wurze in German means ‘spice’, which is accompanied by gooseberry and herbaceous notes and high acidity levels.
Xinomavro is a grape variety indigenous to the north of Greece, most notably in Naousa. Its name translates into English as "sour black" after the variety's ability to retain good acidity despite also achieving excellent must weights, leading to full bodied, fruit-led but refreshing red wines. According to Jancis Robinson, the total area planted with Xinomavro vines in Greece is around 18km².
Xynisteri is a white grape indigenous to Cyprus.
Zibibbo is an Italian white grape variety also known as Muscat of Alexandria. It is an ancient grape variety grown mainly in Sicily, as it thrives in hot climates. The wine produced is the perfect dessert wine with a distinctive taste of grapes, making for an uncomplicated and pleasant drinking experience.
Zinfandel is a black-skinned wine grape originating from Croatia and found to be identical to the Primitivo variety grown in Puglia, Italy. Today it is notably grown in California in the USA, Dalmatia in Croatia, Canelones in Uruguay and Puglia in Italy. In cooler climates Zinfandel expresses raspberry notes, while in warmer climates the wines are alcoholic, deeply coloured and bursting with blackberries and pepper.
Zweigelt is an Austrian red grape which is currently the most widely grown red variety grown in Austria. The wines it produces are reddish-purple in colour with morello cherry notes. Despite the relatively low tannin levels, these full-bodied wines are potentially long-living, and the more high-quality ones can be matured in barriques.