Wine - Grape Varieties

Grape Varieties

Wine is usually made from one or more varieties of the European species Vitis vinifera, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Merlot. When one of these varieties is used as the predominant grape (usually defined by law as minimums of 75% to 85%), the result is a "varietal" as opposed to a "blended" wine. Blended wines are not considered inferior to varietal wines, rather they are a different style of winemaking; some of the world's most highly regarded wines, from regions like Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley, are blended from different grape varieties.

Wine can also be made from other species of grape or from hybrids, created by the genetic crossing of two species. V. labrusca (of which the Concord grape is a cultivar), V. aestivalis, V. ruprestris, V. rotundifolia and V. riparia are native North American grapes usually grown to eat fresh or for grape juice, jam, or jelly, and only occasionally made into wine.

Hybridization is different from grafting. Most of the world's vineyards are planted with European V. vinifera vines that have been grafted onto North American species' rootstock, a common practice due to their resistance to phylloxera, a root louse that eventually kills the vine. In the late 19th century, most of Europe's vineyards (excluding some of the driest in the south) were devastated by the infestation, leading to widespread vine deaths and eventual replanting. Grafting is done in every wine-producing country in the world except for Argentina, the Canary Islands and Chile—the only countries not yet exposed to the insect.

In the context of wine production, terroir is a concept that encompasses the varieties of grapes used, elevation and shape of the vineyard, type and chemistry of soil, climate and seasonal conditions, and the local yeast cultures. The range of possible combinations of these factors can result in great differences among wines, influencing the fermentation, finishing, and aging processes as well. Many wineries use growing and production methods that preserve or accentuate the aroma and taste influences of their unique terroir. However, flavor differences are less desirable for producers of mass-market table wine or other cheaper wines, where consistency takes precedence. Such producers try to minimize differences in sources of grapes through production techniques such as micro-oxygenation, tannin filtration, cross-flow filtration, thin-film evaporation, and spinning cones.

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Other articles related to "grape varieties, grapes, varieties, grape":

California Wine - Grapes and Wines
... Over a hundred grape varieties are grown in California including French, Italian and Spanish wine varietals as well as hybrid grapes and new vitis vinifera varieties developed at the UC ... The seven leading grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay Merlot Pinot noir Sauvignon blanc Syrah Zinfandel Other important red wine grapes include Barbera, Cabernet franc, Carignane ... The Santa Cruz based Bonny Doon Vineyard was one of first wineries to promote these grape varieties in California actively ...
Madiran Wine - Pacherenc Du Vic-Bilh AOC
... The main grape varieties for the dry wine are Courbu and Petit Manseng, which together must make up at least 60%, and neither of which may exceed 80% ... Accessory grape varieties (up to 40%) are Arrufiac, Gros Manseng and Sauvignon blanc, with Sauvignon blanc being limited to a maximum of 10% ... The proportions of grape varieties allowed have been modified in recent years, with the most recent changes being implented in 2005 ...
Luxembourg Wine - Grape Varieties
... Common grape varieties in Luxembourg, and the vineyard surface they covered in 2006, are Müller-Thurgau, usually under the name Rivaner 377.1 ha (29.0 ...
Priorat (DOQ) - Grapes
... The traditional grape variety grown in El Priorat is the red Garnacha tinta, which is found in all the older vineyards ... Also authorized are the following red varieties Garnacha Peluda, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah ... Four white varieties are also authorized Garnacha blanca, Macabeo, Pedro Ximénez and Chenin ...
Champagne (wine) - Grape Varieties and Styles
... As a general rule, grapes used must be the white Chardonnay, or the dark-skinned "red wine grapes" Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier ... Due to the gentle pressing of the grapes and absence of skin contact during fermentation, the dark-skinned varieties also yield a white wine ... Four other grape varieties are permitted, mostly for historical reasons, as they are rare in current usage ...

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