There are over 5,000 varieties of grape for producing wine around the world so it is no wonder that most of us get confused between our Grenache Blanc and Chenin Blanc.

Listed below are the most popular grape varieties, their colour and a short description

Grape NameColourDescriptionTypical Region of Origin
AlicanteWhiteA grape with dark skins (versus transparent for most red grapes). Produces a red or rose' colored wine without maceration (soaking the crushed grape.France
Cabernet FrancRedCabernet Franc is the third component in Bordeaux (and Meritage) wines. It is rare to see a varietal of just Cabernet Franc, but it tends to produce a slightly earthy style of wine that is very aromatic.One of the 20 most widely planted varieties and sixth most widely planted grape in France. Planted in Europe, New World, China
Cabernet SauvignonRedThe primary grape used in Bordeaux and Meritage wines. It provides elegance and structure. Flavors are of blackcurrants and cedar.Bordeaux; Tuscany; Napa Valley; Sonoma County; Australia
ChardonnayWhiteChardonnay is responsible for producing the great white Burgundies and is one of the three major grape types used in the production of Champagne. Also known as Muscadet, Pinot blanc and Pinot chardonnay.Worldwide
Chenin BlancWhiteGood acidity level, thin skin and a high natural sugar content, making it very suitable for either sparkling or sweet wines, although some dry wines, are made from it.Chenin Blanc, France
Grenache (Noir)RedThis is a deeply coloured grape. Usually blended and primarily found in the wines of the Southern Rhone.South of France; Spain; California
Grenache BlancWhiteThe white Grenache is an ancient Spanish variety that has the potential to produce a good-quality, full-bodied wine.South of France; Spain; California
MalbecRedA grape traditionally used in Boreaux blends to provide color and tannin. Black cherry, tobacco and chocolate flavors.France; Argentina; Chile
MerlotRedThis is an early ripening grape, with gentle flavors of plum, cherry, and sometimes toffee. In some areas of France, it can take over as the main grape in the Bordeaux blend.Bordeaux; Napa Valley; Australia; Sonoma County
MuscatWhiteMuscat have a musky aroma and a pronounced grapey flavour. The wines produced range from dry to sweet, still to sparkling and fortified.Worldwide
NebbioloRedThis is a late ripening grape that's known for being tannic, pruny, tarry and chocolaty. It is notoriously difficult to grow, but adds complexity and ageability to wines. Also known as Spanna.Piedmont, Italy
Pinot BlancWhiteProduces fruity, well-balanced wines with good grip and alcohol content. Also known under the more common name of Chenin Blanc in central France.Alsace, France; Germany; California
Pinot GrisWhiteThis is a clone of Pinot Noir and is also known as Rulander or Grauer Burgunder. It can be used to create both fine whites and roses'.France, Germany, Austria, Italy, US
Pinot NoirRedUsed to produce Burgundy wine and makes wines which are moderately fruity with noticeable red-berry (stawberry, cherry, raspberry) floral, and spicy aromas. Usually medium-bodied, dry, and light to moderately tannic. Without skins, they are used in Champagne.Burgundy; California; Marlborough; Central Otago; Tasmania; Yarra Valley
RieslingWhiteMost fine German wines from the Moselle and Rhine areas are made from Riesling, which may have floral, fruity (citrus, peach, apricot, pineapple) and honey aromas. Light to medium-bodied.Germany
SangioveseRedThe principal variety used in Chianti. In a pure varietal form it has floral, herbal and cherry aromas, and now popular in California.Tuscany, Italy
Sauvignon BlancWhiteIt has a grassy flavor and makes a crisp, light wine. The same grape is used in Fumé Blanc wine, which is its "drier" version.California and France
SemillonWhiteThis thin-skinned, grape ripens early. It has a grassy, "figgy" flavor and is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc.Australia, California
ShirazRedSee SyrahAustralia
SyrahReds with a good deal of fruit. Known as Shiraz in Australia.Rhone; California; Barossa Valley
TempranilloRedAlthough traditionally blended, many pure Tempranillo wines though, are of excellent quality, producing long-lived wines of some finesse and complexity.Rioja, Spain, Argentina
ViognierwhiteNoted for spice, floral, citrus, aprict, apple, and peach flavors.Rhone Valley; California; Australia; Italy; New Zealand
ZinfandelRedUsed for the origional "blush" wines but usually make spicy wines.California, Italy

 

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