© 2016 Wolfgang Bitterolf
...a blog about the lighter side of wine...
March 16, 2016
Things you may not know about wine grape varieties
I wanted to do a little winedabbler style story about wine grape varieties - short, simple and entertaining. As I started to look into the subject it turned out to be a rather complex one. How do you make a ''lighter side of wine'' story with over 1,500 common grapes out there?
Instead of a story I decided to just post some interesting bits and pieces I came across during my research:
- Wine-searcher.com lists over 1,000 varieties. Wikipedia.org is a bit more modest listing ''only'' 800 common names for grapes. The University of Adelaide keeps track of over 1,500 prime varieties.
- Most prime grapes have a bunch of other names or sub-varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon alone has over 60 ranging from Bidure to Vidure Sauvignonne.
- According to data gathered by the University of Adelaide in 2010 the varieties with the most plantings worldwide were Cabernet Sauvignon (714,000 acres), Merlot (660,000 acres), Airén (623,000 acres), Tempranillo (576,000 acres) and Chardonnay (494,000 acres).
- Historically the following six are called the ''Noble Grapes'', and virtually every wine drinker has had exposure to them: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay
- With over 1,500 different grapes in the world it is likely that there are over 1,400 you've never heard of and probably never experienced. When was the last time you had a Çalkarasi (red, Turkey), Mouyssaguès (red, nearly extinct, France), Vranak (red, Greece), Forastera (white, Spain) or a Sárfehér (white, Hungary)?
Click here to leave a comment.