This grape is cultivated mainly to add color to wines made from less vivid varieties. It is also referred to as Alicante Boushet.
Barbera grapes are characterized by low tannins and high acidity. One of the most popular dark grapes in Italy, this grape yields a light and fruity wine.
Presumed to be a mutation of the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Cabernet Franc comes nowhere near the noble quality of the Sauvignon. This grape is most oftenly used blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
An old grape variety that is planted around the world. Valued for its low yield and its high tannin content, which makes for a very noble, dark red, long-lived wine with a scent reminiscent of black currants, cedar wood, and black pepper. The resulting high skin-to-juice ratio produces a wine that is very dark, intensely flavored, and tannic.
Carignane has the reputation of being the most productive wine in the world. This wine is best drunk young.
A red wine grape that is the result of a cross of Grenache with an earlier hybrid of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignane. This variety was developed in California during the early 1970s in an attempt to produce a grape that would do well in hot climates and still have Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics.
This grape is low in tannins and produces a warm, fruity flavor with a high alcohol content. It has the aroma of freshly ground pepper and is often blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon or Sirah.
This grape yields a soft, fruity wine with low acidity. Merlot blends well with other wines. When Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are blended, the result is often better than either one alone. Merlot is often times used to bring a sense of richness and smoothness to other wines.
This grape yields a wine which is strong, rich and colored with aromas of pepper, violet or raspberry.
One of the world’s oldest wine varieties, the Pinot Noir can yield wine of elegance and grandeur as well as plump and modest ones. It’s color is medium cardinal red, and it’s aroma conveys mellow fruitness. The clusters are remarkably small, and are closely set with numerous thin-skinned grapes; when vinified, they yield a wine correspondingly low in tannins. Many winemakers press Pinot Noir grapes with their stalks to augment the tannins. This grape is used to make a red burgundy with a light to medium body, with a hint of strawberry and raspberry.
This red grape is mainly grown in Apulia, southern Italy, where it makes a heavy, strong wine, often with the alcoholic potency of port. DNA testing has confirmed that Primitivo is genetically related to California’s Zinfandel. Historically, in Italy Primitivo was employed to add heft to reds from northern regions. However, its potential as a single varietal, rather than merely a blending component, is starting to be acknowledged, at home in Italy, and abroad in New World regions.
This grape produces a lighter, quicker maturing wine than the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.
Italy’s mort important variety, the Sangiovese grape ripens relatively late, and brings forth wines that are fruity and light in color, with the toughness of tannins and the liveliness of acids. Chianti wine is made with 65% – 75% of Sangiovese grapes.
One of the noblest of the black grape varieties. This grape makes for a dark, strong, full-bodied wine with undertones of black currants, cedar, and spice.
Wines of very different character are made out of this variety: reds, roses, and, when fermented without the skins, whites. The typical and distinctive Zinfandel wine is red. It is almost exclusively in California that Zinfandel is widely planted. California winemakers ferment Zinfandel grapes into some top-quality wines, but it is also used in the mass-production of jug wines as well.