Chapter 9.1. General View on Red Grapes Varieties

Hello Everyone !

So many people I know have requested a chapter describing the grape varieties and to be honest , there are so many people drinking wine and very few knowing what kind of grapes are those wines made of and what exactly are the atributes of those grapes…the marvel process giving wine the COLOR , BOUQUET , LEGS , ALCOHOL CONTENT and so on …

Enjoy !

Red / Rouge / Rosso / Rot / Rosu


Abouriou is a red wine grape grown primarily in South West France and, in small quantities, in California. It is a blending grape that along with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Fer, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Gamay is used to make the French wine Côtes du Marmandais. Though it shares several synonyms with the Beaujolais grape Gamay, the two grapes do not share many characteristics. In California, the grape is sometimes called Early Burgundy as another allusion to the Gamay grape. The vine produces high yields and vigorous growth with a relatively high resistance to disease. It tends to bud and ripen early.The grape can also be found as a varietal in some Vin de pays wines. The grape is known for its low acidity and high tannin content.


Acolon is a German wine grape variety. It is a crossing between Blauer Lemberger (Blaufränkisch) and Dornfelder.

It was created in 1971 at the Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein– und Obstbau in Weinsberg (nr. Württemberg), Germany. The variety was officially recognised in 2002. It ripens early and produces a very color-intensive wine with mild tannins, resembling Lemberger. Currently it is growing experimentally on 1.35 square kilometres. Since 1981 it has often been used as a partner to create new genetically-diverse varieties.


Agiorgitiko (Greek: Αγιωργίτικο; also known as Aghiorghitiko, Mavro Nemeas and St. George) is one of the two widely-grown heat-resistant Greek wine-making grape varieties, the other being Xynomavro. It is a red variety that has traditionally been grown in the Nemea region of the Peloponnese. It is one of the more commercially important indigenous Greek varieties, and it can take on a large range of characteristics, from soft to very tannic, depending on factors in the growing and winemaking processes.


Aglianico (pronounced [aʎˈʎaːniko], roughly “ah-LYAH-nee-koe”) is a black grape grown in the Basilicata and Campania regions of Italy. The vine originated in Greece and was brought to the south of Italy by Greek settlers. The name may be a corruption of Vitis hellenica, Latin for “Greek vine”. Another etymology derives the name Aglianico from a corruption of Apulianicum, the Latin adjective which indicates the whole of southern Italy in the Roman age. In early Roman times, it was the principal grape of the famous Falernian wine which was the Roman equivalent of a First Growth wine today.


Aleatico is a red wine grape that ampelographers suspect may be a mutation of the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains vine. It is notable for being the primary grape in the cult wine Aleatico di Portoferraio made in Elba. It is grown most commonly in the Puglia and Lazio region of Italy. In Chile is known as Red Moscatel. The grape has also been cultivated at Mudgee in New South Wales and in California.


It is reputed to be one of the oldest and greatest of the Georgian varieties, but is also reported by the Geilweilerhof database as a selected seedling of Muscat of Alexandria. This may reflect two varieties, the Alexandrouli wine grape and the table grape Alexandriuli Muscat.

Used in Georgia to produce a semi-sweet red wine known as Khvanchkara (Joseph Stalin‘s favourite wine), or as a medium bodied, semi-dry, chewy blend (with Mujuretuli) having good acids and claimed to have aroma flavors reminiscent of pomegranates.

It seems to prefer the wetter western half of Georgia.

Alexandrouli is also known under the synonyms Aleksandroouly, Aleksandrouli, Aleksandrouli Shavi, Alexandreouli, Alexandroouli, Alexandrouli, Kabistona, and Kabistoni.

Alfrocheiro Preto

Alfrocheiro Preto is a red Portuguese wine grape variety planted primarily in the Dão DOC and Alentejano VR. The grape is known for the deep coloring it can add to wine blends

Alfrocheiro Preto is also known under the synonyms Albarin Negro, Alfrocheiro, Alfurcheiro, Tinta Bastardinha, and Tinta Francisca de Viseu.

Alicante Bouschet

Alicante Bouschet or Alicante Henri Bouschet is a wine grape variety that has been widely cultivated since 1866. It is a cross of Petit Bouschet (itself a cross of the very old variety Teinturier du Cher and Aramon) and Grenache.Alicante is a teinturier, a grape with red flesh. It is one of the few teinturier grapes that belong to the Vitis vinifera species. Its deep color makes it useful for blending with light red wine. It was planted heavily during Prohibition in California for export to the East Coast. Its thick skin made it resistant to rot during the transportation process. The intense red color was also helpful for stretching the wine during prohibition, as it could be diluted without detracting from the appearance. At the turn of the 21st century, Alicante Bouschet was the 12th most planted red wine grape in France with sizable plantings in the Languedoc, Provence and Cognac regions.


Ancellotta is a wine grape variety mainly grown in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, but also in some other parts of north Italy, and in south Switzerland. Synonyms include Ancelotta di Massenzatico, Ancelotti, Balsamina Nera, Lancelotta, Rossissimo, Uino and Uvino.

In Emilia Romagna it is used mainly as a secondary grape to make Lambrusco wines more amabile (slightly sweet)—specifically the Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce DOC (province of Modena), where it may provide up to 10% of the blend, and the Lambrusco versions of the Reggiano DOC (province of Reggio Emilia), where it may account for up to 15%.

In the south-west of the region, in the provinces of Forlì-Cesena and Ravenna, it is one of the varieties that may be blended with Sangiovese to produce the red Colli di Faenza DOC. In the Province of Rimini it is employed in the Colli di Rimini DOC wine.

To a lesser degree Ancellotta is cultivated in Piedmont (around Vercelli), the Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Tuscany.

Outside of Italy, the grape is grown in southern Switzerland, in the canton Ticino and district of Moesa of the canton of the Grisons, where the grape is included in the list of recommended varieties for the red Ticino DOC. Total Swiss plantations of the variety in 2009 stood at 19 hectares (47 acres).


Aramon or Aramon Noir is a variety of red wine grape grown primarily in Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France. Between the late 19th century and the 1960s, it was France’s most grown grape variety, but plantings of Aramon have been in continuous decline since the mid-20th century. Aramon has also been grown in Algeria and Argentina, but nowhere else did it ever reach the popularity it used to have in the south of France.

It is most noted for its very high productivity, and yields can reach levels as high as 400 hectolitres per hectare.The vine’s resistance to oidium, phylloxera, and powdery mildew lead to its reputation as workhorse grape that could be relied on by growers for dependable financial returns.However, when cropped at high yields, the resultant wines are very light red in colour (but show a blue-black tinge), low in alcohol and extract and generally thin on character.Such Aramon wine is often blended with wine from grapes of darker color such as Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir de la Calmette to darken the resulting wine.

If planted on poor soils and pruned very severely to much smaller yields, it has been shown to be able to give concentrated wines with spicy, earthy, herbaceous, and somewhat rustic character. However, such Aramon wines are extremely rare, but some varietal wine is still produced in Languedoc.

A viticultural drawback of Aramon is that it buds early and ripens late, which means that it only is suitable for growing in hotter regions, and that it is very sensitive to spring frost.

Aspiran Noir

Aspiran Noir or Aspiran is a red French wine grape variety planted primarily in the Languedoc where it permitted under Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) regulations in the red wines of the Minervois AOC. Aspiran is a very old variety with a long history of producing light bodied and perfumed wines.

Before the phylloxera epidemic, Aspiran was common in Languedoc, in particular in Hérault, where it once represented one quarter of the plantations in this department. The grape variety is probably named after the town Aspiran in Hérault.The severe frost in 1956 killed off much of the then existing Aspiran plantations. In 1988, only 7 hectares (17 acres) remained, and the variety is usually not being replanted.


Aubun is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Rhône valley. The grape has similar characteristics to Carignan grapes in that it tends to produce high yields and produces wines that are fat with slight bitter finishes. Early during the phylloxera epidemic of the 19th century, the Auban vines showed some resistance to the pest as well as to downy and powdery mildew. The vines tends to bud late and not be affected by spring frost.In 2000, there were 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of Aubun in France.Aubun is easily confused with Counoise, because of a large similarity in the vineyard. Aubun and Counoise were also grown mixed in a field blend in some older vineyards.Therefore, Counoise is found as a synonym for Aubun, but the “real” Counoise is considered to be a grape of higher quality, which is one of the grape varieties allowed in the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.

Synonyms for Aubun include Carignan de Bedoin, Carignan de Bedouin, Carignan de Gigondas, Counoise, Guyene, Morescola, Motardie, Moustardier, Moustardier Noir, Moutardier, Quenoise.Aubun is not related to the similarly named Aubin blanc from Lorraine in east France.

Băbească Neagră

Băbească Neagră is an old native Romanian and Moldovan wine grape variety. It is cultivated in the south of Moldova and in Romania (region of Moldavia, Dobruja and Wallachia),[2] and is the second most planted grape variety in Romania, with about 6,300 hectares (16,000 acres) in 2005. The name Băbească Neagră means “grandmother’s grape”.Most wines produced from Băbească Neagră are light, fruity red wines.


Baga is also known under the synonyms Baga de Louro, Baguinha, Bairrada, Bairrado Tinta, Baya, Carrasquenho, Carrega Burros, Goncalveira, Morete, Moreto, Paga Dividas, Poeirinha, Poeirinho, Povolide, Preiinho, Pretinho, Preto Rifete, Rifete, Rosete, Tinta Bairrada, Tinta Bairradina, Tinta da Bairrada, Tinta de Baga, and Tinta Fina.

Baga is a red Portuguese wine grape varietyplanted primarily in the Bairrada DOC. As a varietal, Baga produces tannic wines with high acidity.


Barbaroux is the French wine grape variety, known as Barbarossa in Italy. It is used in the Cassis AOC in France, and in Provence and Corsica, and in Bertinoro in Emilia-Romagna.


Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano). It produces good yields and is known for deep color, low tannins and high levels of acid (which is unusual for a warm climate red grape). Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow for the production of long-aging, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content. The best known appellation is the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Barbera d’Asti in the Piedmont region. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red and blackberries. In the lightest versions notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted (seared over a fire) oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity, aging potential, and hints of vanilla notes. The lightest versions are generally known for flavors and aromas of fresh fruit and dried fruits, and are not recommended for cellaring. Wines with better balance between acid and fruit, often with the addition of oak and having a high alcohol content are more capable of cellaring; these wines often result from reduced yield viticultural methods.


Bastardo (Trousseau Noir, Trousseau) is an old variety of red wine grape. It is grown in small amounts in many parts of Western Europe; most famously it is used in Portuguese port wine. It makes deep cherry red wines with high alcohol and flavours of red berry fruits.

Trousseau Gris is a white mutation, occasionally found in Jura and once common in California under the name ‘Gray Riesling’.

Genouillet is the result of a cross between Gouais Blanc (Heunisch) and Bastardo.

In 1938 Harold Olmo used Trousseau to pollinate the rupestris hybrid Alicante Ganzin to produce the Royalty variety.

Bastardo was crossed with the Georgian variety Saperavi to produce the Bastardo Magarachskii variety used in the Crimea.

Black Muscat

Black Muscat is a Vitis vinifera grape variety derived from the crossing of the Schiava Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria varieties. It is known under a variety of local names such as Golden Hamburg, and Black Hamburg in the US; Muscat de Hambourg (or Hamburgh) in France; Moscato di Amburgo in Italy; and Muscat Gamburgskiy in Russia and former Soviet Union countries. Confusingly, Black Hamburg is also used as a synonym for its maternal parent. It is commonly produced as table wine but in California’s Central Valley it has been used in the production of dessert wine. As a dessert wine it can be highly aromatic with a rich coloring. In the US it is grown in wine appellations in California, Virginia, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. In Canada, it is also found on Vancouver Island.

In France, the grape is used chiefly as a component of fruit baskets. In Eastern Europe, the grape produces a light, dry red wine. It is also starting to gain popularity as a table wine component in China.

Horticulturist Walter Clore has postulated that this grape might have been one of the first Vitis vinifera varieties planted in Washington State in the early 19th century.


Blatina is red wine grape variety [ autochthonous] of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a functional female flower (auto-sterile), and for that reason it is always cultivated in plantations with other varieties such as Alicante bouschet (Kambuša), Merlot, and Trnjak, which at the same time pollinate Blatina. During the period of insemination, because of the rain, it can fail in giving fruits, and it is then called “praznobačva“ (empty barrel). Blatina can produce dry red wine with 12 to 13.5 % of alcohol, 5 to7 g/l of total acidity, 25-32 g/l of extract. It has a dark ruby red color.


Blauburger is a red wine grape variety that is grown a little in Austria and Hungary. It should not be confused with Blauburgunder, which is an Austrian synonym for Pinot Noir.

Blauer Portugieser

Blauer Portugieser is a red Austrian and German wine grape found primarily in the Rheinhessen, Pfalz and wine regions of Lower Austria. It is also one of the permitted grapes in the Hungarian wine Egri Bikavér (Bull’s blood). The cultivated area in Germany covered 4,551 hectares (11,250 acres) or 4.5% of the total vineyard area in 2007. Wine cellars usually vinify a simple light red wine, which is characterized by a fresh, tart and light body. It is also frequently vinified as a rosé. Blauer Portugieser is also very well suited as table grapes, however it is not sold as such because the selling of wine grapes as table grapes is not permitted in the European Union. Since 2000, higher quality wines have been vinified from Portugieser grapes. The use of oak provides additional aromas in order to compete with Bordeaux varieties.


Blaufränkisch (German for blue “Frankish”) is a dark-skinned variety of grape used for red wine. Blaufränkisch, which is a late-ripening variety gives red wines which are typically rich in tannin and may exhibit a pronounced spicy character. The grape is grown across Central Europe, including Austria, Czech Republic (in particular the Moravia region), Germany (where it is known as Lemberger, or Blauer Limberger), Slovakia (where it is known as “Frankovka modrá”), Croatia (“frankovka”) and Slovenia (known as “modra frankinja”). In Hungary the grape is called Kékfrankos (also lit. blue Frankish) and is grown in a number of wine regions including Sopron, Villány, Szekszárd and Eger (where it is a major ingredient in the famous red wine blend known as Egri Bikavér (lit. Bull’s Blood) having largely replaced the Kadarka grape). It has been called “the Pinot Noir of the East” because of its spread and reputation in Eastern Europe.

DNA profiling has shown that Blaufränkisch is a cross between Gouais blanc (Weißer Heunisch) and an unidentified Frankish variety. One of the candidates for the Frankish parent is Blauer Silvaner.

For a long time before the application of DNA analysis, Blaufränkisch was erroneously thought to be a clone of the Gamay grape variety, due to certain similarities in morphology and possibly due to its name Gamé in Bulgaria.

The German name Lemberger derives from the fact that it was imported to Germany in the 19th century from Lemberg in Lower Styra in present-day Slovenia and then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A 1877 export of Lembergerreben to Germany has been recorded. The almost identical name Limberger refers to Limburg at Maissau in Lower Austria, where in late 19th century “ungrafted Limberg Blaufränkisch vines” (wurzelechte Limberger Blaufränkisch-Reben) were offered for sale.

Washington State is one of the few major wine regions to have significant plantings of Lemberger. Grapes of this Washington wine mostly grow in Yakima Valley, but also at the Olympic Peninsula.


Bobal is a variety of Vitis Vinifera, a red grape used in winemaking. It is native to the Utiel-Requena region in Valencia, Spain. The name derives from the Latin bovale, in reference to the shape of a bull’s head. It is grown predominantly in the Utiel-Requena DO where it represents about 90% of all vines grown, and is also present in significant quantities in Valencia, Cuenca and Albacete. It can only be found in small quantities in other regions of Spain: La Manchuela (Castile La Mancha), selected vineyards in Ribera de Guadiana DO, Alicante DO, Murcia, Campo de Borja, Calatayud, Cariñena, Valdejalón. Small quantities are also grown in Rosellón (south of France) and in Sardinia (Italy). A rare white variety of the same name also exists. According to the data from the Spanish Vine Registry (Registro Vitícola Español) of 31 July 2004, Bobal is the third most planted variety in Spain with 90,000 ha (8%), coming behind Airén 305,000 ha (27%) and Tempranillo 190,000 (17%).


Bonarda is a name applied to several different grape varieties used to make red wine:

Charbono of California is widely grown in Argentina as Bonarda. It originates in Savoie, where it is known as Corbeau or Douce Noir (“Sweet Black”), but is not the same as Piedmont’s Dolcetto. This grape is known in Italy as Dolce Nero (“Sweet Black”) and it is believed that the same translations of these two grape names has led to the frequently-quoted statement that they are the same grape. Dolcetto ripens early and makes a light, fruity wine, while Charbono is very late to ripen and makes wines of great substance.

Bonarda Piemontese is grown in Piedmont, around Turin, and makes a light, fruity wine. It may be labelled as Bonarda dell’Astigiano, Bonarda di Chieri, Bonarda di Gattinara or Bonarda del Monferrato.

Croatina grown in Lombardy, around Pavia, is known as Bonarda dell’Oltrepò Pavese, making a mildly tannic wine similar in style to Dolcetto.

Uva Rara is called Bonarda Novarese in Novara and Vercelli.


Bondola is a wine grape variety grown in the northern part of Ticino, Switzerland. It is mainly used in traditional wines, mainly by small or family wineries, and thus not very widespread in shops and restaurants.


Brachetto is a red Italian wine grape variety grown predominantly in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. At one time the grape was thought to be related to the French wine grape Braquet, but recent thought among ampelographers is that the two are distinct varieties. In Italy’s region of Piedmont the grape is somewhat more widespread: production mostly falling within an area of the provinces of Asti and Alessandria between the rivers Bormida and Belbo plus various parts of the province of Cuneo. At Canelli, on the border between the hills of Asti and the Lange proper, the grape is known as Borgogna. The most notable wine here is the red Brachetto d’Acqui Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) which is made in both still and spumante (fully sparkling) versions. The Piemonte Brachetto Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), also a red wine, is made with a minimum of 85% Brachetto; it is usually still, but may be frizzante (lightly sparkling). The grape is also used for up to 10% of the blend for the Ruché-based Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato DOC.


Boal is a name given to several varieties of grape cultivated in Portugal, notably in the production of medium-rich fortified wines from Madeira Island. On many wine labels of Madeira wine, the variety’s name is anglicized as Bual. Madeira from Bual is typically less sweet than that from Malmsey, but more sweet than Sercial or Verdelho.

Most of the Boal grown on Madeira is more fully known as Boal Cachudo, which has been shown by DNA profiling to be identical to the Malvasia Fina grown in the Douro valley.

The vines are also common in Portugal and Spain, where the fruit is used in the same way for fortified wines.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major red grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire‘s Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States it is made into ice wine there.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon,making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis, sometimes even violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. DNA analysis indicates Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon Blanc.

Cabernet Franc is believed to have been established in the Libournais region of southwest France sometime in the 17th century when Cardinal Richelieu transported cuttings of the vine to the Loire Valley. They were planted at the Abbey of Bourgueil under the care of an abbot named Breton, whose name became associated with the grape. By the 18th century, plantings of Cabernet Franc (known as Bouchet) were found throughout Fronsac, Pomerol and St-Emilion, making quality wines. As Cabernet Sauvignon became more popular in the 18th & 19th century, the close similarity of the two grapes was observed and theories emerged as to the extent of the relationship. In 1997 DNA evidence emerged to show that Cabernet Franc crossed with Sauvignon blanc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon.


In general, Cabernet Franc is very similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but buds and ripens at least a week earlier. This trait allows the vine to thrive in slightly cooler climates than Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the Loire Valley. In Bordeaux, plantings of Cabernet Franc are treated as an “insurance policy” against inclement weather close to harvest that may damage plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon. Its early budding does pose the viticultural hazard of coulure early in the growing season.The vine is vigorous and upright, with dark-green, 5-lobed leaves. The winged bunches are elongate and small-medium in size. The berries are quite small and blue-black in color, with fairly thin skins.The Cabernet Franc grapevine is more prone to mutation than Cabernet Sauvignon, less so than Pinot noir.

Cabernet Franc can adapt to a wide variety of vineyard soil types but seems to thrive in sandy, chalk soils, producing heavier, more full bodied wines there. In the Loire Valley, terroir based differences can be perceived between wines made from grapes grown in gravel terraces versus tuffeau slopes. The grape is highly yield sensitive, with over-cropping producing wines with more green, vegetal notes.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California’s Napa Valley, Australia’s Coonawarra region and Chile’s Maipo Valley. For most of the 20th century, it was the world’s most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation – the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost – and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character (“typicity“) of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions. Its widespread popularity has also contributed to criticism of the grape as a “colonizer” that takes over wine regions at the expense of native grape varieties.

History and origins

For many years, the origin of Cabernet Sauvignon was not clearly understood and many myths and conjectures surrounded it. The word “Sauvignon” is believed to be derived from the French sauvage meaning “wild” and to refer to the grape being a wild Vitis vinifera vine native to France. Until recently the grape was rumoured to have ancient origins, perhaps even being the Biturica grape used to make ancient Roman wine and referenced by Pliny the Elder. This belief was widely held in the 18th century, when the grape was also known as Petite Vidure or Bidure, apparently a corruption of Biturica. There was also belief that Vidure was a reference to the hard wood (French vigne dure) of the vine, with a possible relationship to Carménère which was once known as Grand Vidure. Other theories were that the grapevine originated in the Rioja region of Spain.

While the period when the name Cabernet Sauvignon became more prevalent over Petite Vidure is not certain, records indicate that the grape was a popular Bordeaux planting in the 18th century Médoc region. The first estates known to have actively grown the variety (and the likely source of Cabernet vines for other estates) were Château Mouton and Château d’Armailhac in the Pauillac.

The grape’s true origins were discovered in the late 1990s with the use of DNA typing at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, by a team lead by Dr. Carole Meredith. The DNA evidence determined that Cabernet Sauvignon was the offspring of Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc and was most likely a chance crossing that occurred in the 17th century. Prior to this discovery, this origin had been suspected from the similarity of the grapes’ names and the fact that Cabernet Sauvignon shares similar aromas with both grapes—such as the black currant and pencil box aromas of Cabernet franc and the grassiness of Sauvignon blanc.


While Cabernet Sauvignon can grow in a variety of climates, its suitability as a varietal wine or as a blend component is strongly influenced by the warmth of the climate. The vine is one of the last major grape varieties to bud and ripen (typically 1–2 weeks after Merlot and Cabernet franc) and the climate of the growing season affects how early the grapes will be harvested. Many wine regions in California give the vine an abundance of sunshine with few problems in ripening fully, which increases the likelihood of producing varietal Cabernet wines. In regions like Bordeaux, under the threat of inclement harvest season weather, Cabernet Sauvignon is often harvested a little earlier than ideal and is then blended with other grapes to fill in the gaps. As global warming has increased the number of warm vintage years, the possibility of creating varietal Cabernet in Bordeaux has also increased, making the decision to blend based more on ideology and tradition. In some regions, climate will be more important than soil. In regions that are too cool, there is a potential for more herbaceous and green bell pepper flavours from less than ideally ripened grapes. In regions where the grape is exposed to excess warmth and over-ripening, there is a propensity for the wine to develop flavours of cooked or stewed blackcurrants.

The Cabernet grape variety has thrived in a variety of vineyard soil types, making the consideration of soil less of concern particularly for New World winemakers. In Bordeaux, the soil aspect of terroir was historically an important consideration in determining which of the major Bordeaux grape varieties were planted. While Merlot seemed to thrive in clay and limestone based soils (such as those of the Right Bank regions of the Gironde estuary), Cabernet Sauvignon seemed to perform better in the gravel based soil of the Médoc region on the Left Bank. The gravel soils offered the benefit of being well drained while absorbing and radiating heat to the vines, aiding ripening. Clay and limestone based soils are often cooler, allowing less heat to reach the vines, delaying ripening. In regions where the climate is warmer, there is more emphasis on soil that is less fertile, which promotes less vigor in the vine which can keep yields low.In the Napa Valley wine regions of Oakville and Rutherford, the soil is more alluvial and dusty. Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon has been often quoted as giving a sense of terroir with a taste of “Rutherford dust”. In the South Australian wine region of Coonawarra, Cabernet Sauvignon has produced vastly different results from grapes vines planted in the region’s terra rosa soil-so much so that the red soil is considered the “boundary” of the wine region, with some controversy from wine growers with Cabernet Sauvignon planted on red soil.

In addition to ripeness levels, the harvest yields can also have a strong influence in the resulting quality and flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon wine. The vine itself is prone to vigorous yields, particularly when planted on the vigorous SO4 rootstock. Excessive yields can result in less concentrated and flavorful wine with flavors more on the green or herbaceous side. In the 1970s, a particular clone of Cabernet Sauvignon that was engineered to be virus free was noted for its very high yields-causing many quality conscious producers to replant their vineyards in the late 20th century with different clonal varieties. To reduce yields, producers can plant the vines on less vigorous rootstock and also practice green harvesting with aggressive pruning of grape clusters soon after veraison.

In general, Cabernet Sauvignon has good resistance to most grape diseases, powdery mildew being the most noted exception. It is, however, susceptible to the vine diseases Eutypella scoparia and excoriose.


Severny is the name of a Russian red-grape varietal.

Severny results from the interspecifc crossing between Seianetze Malengra and Vitis amurensis. The hybrid has been obtained in the Institute for wineyard researches in Rostov-on-Don in Russia.

The varietal has been imported to Finger Lakes AVA, just south of Lake Ontario, in the United States.

Because of the genes present in Vitis amurensis, the varietal is very resistant to frost.

Further hybridizations have involved the Severny varietal like in the Saperavi Severnyi (with Georgian varietal Saperavi) or Cabernet Severny obtentions. It is an important component for the discovery of new varietals that can be grown under cold climates. Synonyms: Severnii, Severnyi.


Caladoc is a red French wine grape variety planted primarily in the southern wine regions such as the Languedoc. The grape is a crossing of Grenache and Malbec.


Calitor or Calitor Noir is a red grape variety used for wine. It was previously widely cultivated in southern France, in particular in Provence, but is now very rare, almost extinct. Calitor gives high yields and produces an elegant, light and lightly coloured wine. When grown on hillside sites, it can give a wine of character. It has mostly been used in blends.

Calitor are also known under the synonyms Anglas, Assadoule Bouvier, Binxeilla, Blavette, Calitor Noir, Canseron, Cargo Miola, Cargo Muou, Catitor, Causeron, Causeroun, Charge Mulet, Colitor, Coulitor, Dameron des Vosges, Foirard, Foirat, Fouiraire, Fouiral, Fouirassan, Garriga, Mouillas, Noeuds-Courts, Nou Courte, Pampoul, Pecoui Touar, Pecoui Tovar, Picpoule Sorbier, Piquepoul de Fronton, Pride of Australia, Qualitor, Ramonen, Rouget de Salins, Rousselin, Rousselin Noir, Rousset, Rouxal, Sang de Boeuf, Saure, Sen Zhan, Siege Noir, Sigotier, Sigoyer, and Tentyure Artekskii.


Canaiolo (also called Canaiolo Nero or Uva Canina) is a red Italian wine grape grown through Central Italy but is most noted in Tuscany. Other regions with plantings of Canaiolo include Lazio, Marche and Sardegna. In Umbria a white berried mutation known as Canaiolo Bianco exist. Together with Sangiovese and Colorino it is often used to create Chianti wine and is an important but secondary component of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. In the history of Chianti it has been a key component blend and during the 18th century may have been the primarily grape used in higher percentage than Sangiovese. Part of its popularity may have been the grape’s ability to partially dry out without rotting for use in the governo method of prolonging fermentation. In the 19th century, the Chianti recipe of Bettino Ricasoli called for Canaiolo to play a supporting role to Sangiovese, adding fruitiness and softening tannins without detracting from the wine’s aromas. In the aftermath of the phylloxera epidemic, the Canaiolo vines did not take well to grafting onto new American rootstock and the grape began to steadily fall out of favor. As of 2006, total plantings of Canaiolo throughout Italy dropped to under 7,410 acres (3,000 hectares). Today there are renewed efforts by Tuscan winemakers to find better clonal selections and re-introduce the variety into popular usage.

Ampelographers believe that Canaiolo is most likely native to Central Italy and perhaps to the Tuscany region. It was a widely planted variety in the Chianti region and most likely was the dominant grape variety in Chianti blends throughout the 18th century. The writings of Italian writer Cosimo Villifranchi noted the grape’s popularity and that it was often blended with Sangiovese, Mammolo and Marzemino.Part of Canaiolo’s success in the region may have been its affinity for the governo winemaking technique that was used to ensure complete fermentation.At the time various wine faults would plague unstable Chiantis because they were not able to fully complete fermentation and yeast cells would remain active in the wine. The lack of full fermentation was partly due to cooler temperatures following harvest that stuns the yeast and prohibits activity prior to technological advances in temperature control fermentation vessel. The technique of governo was first developed by Chianti winemakers in the 14th century. This involves adding half dried grapes to the must to stimulate the yeast with a fresh source of sugar that may keep the yeast active all the through the fermentation process.Canaiolo’s resistance to rotting while going through the partial drying process made it an ideal grape for this technique.

In the 19th century, the Baron Bettino Ricasoli created the modern Chianti recipe that was predominantly Sangiovese with Canaiolo added for it fruitiness and ability to soften the tannins of Sangiovese. Wine expert Hugh Johnson has noted that the relationship between Sangiovese and Canaiolo has some parallels to how Cabernet Sauvignon is softened by the fruit of Merlot in the traditional Bordeaux style blend. The rise in prominence of Sangiovese herald the decline of Canaiolo as more winemakers rushed to plant more Sangiovese. Outside of Chianti, Canaiolo role in the Sangiovese based on Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was also declining though it was never as prominent as it once was in Chianti. The phylloxera devastation at the end of the 19th century highlighted the unique difficulties that Canaiolo has with grafting as many plantings on new American rootstock failed to take.

Today there are a few vineyards in the Chianti Classico region specializing in Canaiolo, two of them being the family estates of Bettino Ricasoli in Brolio and Gaiole in Chianti as well as a scattering of vineyards in Barberino Val d’Elsa. There are renewed efforts and research in clonal selections to revive the variety in Tuscany.


Carignan is a red wine grape that may have originated in Cariñena, Aragon and was later transplanted to Sardinia, elsewhere in Italy, France, Algeria, and much of the New World. Along with Aramon, it was once considered one of the main grapes responsible for France’s wine lake. In California, the grape is rarely used to make varietal wines, but some examples from old vines do exist. In Australia, Carignan is used as a component of blended wines. In the Languedoc, the grape is often blended with Cinsaut, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre and Merlot. It has an upright growth habit and can be grown without a trellis. It was crossed to Cabernet Sauvignon to give Ruby Cabernet.

Carignan is believed to have originated in Spain in the Aragon region and was historically a component of neighboring Rioja‘s red wine blend. From Spain it gained prominence in Algeria and fed that country’s export production to France. Upon Algeria’s independence in 1962, the French supply of Carignan wine was cut off and growers in Southern France began to plant the vine for their own production. The grape’s prominence in France hit a high point in 1988 when it accounted for 167,000 hectares and was France’s most widely planted grape. That year, in a drive to increase the overall quality of European wine and to reduce the growing wine lake phenomenon, the European Union started an aggressive vine pull scheme where vineyard owners were offered cash subsidies in exchange for pulling up their vines. Out of all the French wine varieties, Carignan was the most widely affected dropping by 2000 to 95,700 ha (236,000 acres) and being surpassed by Merlot as the most widely planted grape.

Wine regions

The grape is most widely found in south France, particularly in the Languedoc regions of Aude, Gard and Hérault where it is often made as Vin ordinaire and in some Vin de pays wines. In Spain the grape is almost non-existent in its ancestral home of Aragon where it was once a secondary component of wine from the Cariñena region after Grenache.[3] It has found an increasing prominence in the Catalan wine region of Priorat, where it’s the main variety in the northern half of the appellation and has been vindicated by a number of young growers such as South African Eben Sadie, and also Costers del Segre, Penedès, Tarragona and Terra Alta. As of 2004, Spain had around 7,000 ha (17,300 acres). In Italy the grape is most commonly found in Sardinia and Lazio where it is often found as a rosé. The Carignano del Sulcis DOC features a Carignan based rosso from the Sardinian islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro. In the New World, Carignan was often planted in the warmer wine regions of California, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia and South Africa.

At one point in California’s wine history, Carignane (as it is known here) was the third most widely planted grape variety but has since dropped considerably in production . The majority of the vines were planted in the Central Valley and used to make inexpensive box and jug wines. In the 1970s and 1980s, Californian Carignane was one of the leading “home winemaking” grapes in production. In Australia the grape was often confused with the Bonvedro vine, which is similarly prone to diseases, but in recent years Australian winemakers have been able to identify true Carignan. The grape is still popular in North Africa in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Carignan also played an important role in the early development of the Israeli wine industry though it is not as prominent today. Chinese winemakers have also experimented with growing Carignan in some of their warmer wine regions.


The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot.

A member of the Cabernet family of grapes,the name “Carménère” originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson colour of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall.The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym,although current European Union regulations prohibit Chilean imports under this name into the European Union.Along with Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, France.

Now rarely found in France, the world’s largest area planted with this variety is in Chile in South America, with more than 8,800 hectares (2009) cultivated in the Central Valley . As such, Chile produces the vast majority of Carménère wines available today and as the Chilean wine industry grows, more experimentation is being carried out on Carménère’s potential as a blending grape, especially with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Carménère is also grown in Italy’s Eastern Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regionsand in smaller quantities in the California and Walla Walla regions of the United States.

Carménère wine has a deep red color and aromas found in red fruits, spices and berries.The tannins are gentler and softer than those in Cabernet Sauvignon and it is a medium body wine.Although mostly used as a blending grape, wineries do bottle a pure varietal Carménère which, when produced from grapes at optimal ripeness, imparts a cherry-like, fruity flavor with smoky, spicy and earthy notes and a deep crimson color. Its taste might also be reminiscent of dark chocolate, tobacco, and leather. The wine is best drunk young.


One of the most ancient European varieties, Carménère is thought to be the antecedent of other better-known varieties; some consider the grape to be “a long-established clone of Cabernet Sauvignon.” It is possible that the variety name is an alias for what is actually the Vidure, a local Bordeaux name for a Cabernet Sauvignon clone once thought to be the grape from which all red Bordeaux varieties originated.

There have also been suggestions that Carménère may be Biturica, a vine praised in ancient Rome and also the name by which the city of Bordeaux was known during that era.[10] This ancient variety originated in Iberia (modern-day Spain and Portugal), according to Pliny the Elder; indeed, it is currently a popular blending variety with Sangiovese in Tuscany called “Predicato di Biturica”

The Carménère grape has known origins in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France and was also widely planted in the Graves until the vines were struck with oidium.It is almost impossible to find Carménère wines in France today, as a Phylloxera plague in 1867 nearly destroyed all the vineyards of Europe, afflicting the Carménère grapevines in particular such that for many years the grape was presumed extinct. When the vineyards were replanted, growers could not replant Carménère as it was extremely hard to find and more difficult to grow than other grape varieties common to Bordeaux.The region’s damp, chilly spring weather gave rise to coulure, “a condition endemic to certain vines in climates which have marginal, sometimes cool, wet springs”, which prevented the vine’s buds from flowering. Yields were lower than other varieties and the crops were rarely healthy; consequently wine growers chose more versatile and less coulure-susceptible grapes when replanting the vines and Carménère planting was progressively abandoned.


The carnelian grape variety was created by Harold Olmo of the University of California in 1972 in order to create a grape for hot climates which still possessed some of the characteristics of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. It is a cross between the Carignane and the Cabernet Sauvignon that was then further crossed with the Grenache.


Periquita , also known as Castelão and João de Santarém, is a red wine grape found primarily in the south coastal regions but is grown all over Portugal and is sometimes used in Port wine production. The name is derived from the Portuguese term for parakeet. The vine thrives in sandy soils but is able to adapt to a variety of conditions. It produces a wine that can be harshly tannic in its youth but softens as it ages. In the Algarve VR, it is often blended with Negra Mole to produce a wine with less aging potential but less harsh in its youth.


Cesanese Comune (more commonly known as just Cesanese) is a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Lazio region. The grape has three Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) regions dedicated to it-Cesanese di Affile DOC, Cesanese di Olevano DOC and Cesanese di Piglio DOC. Cesanese di Affile appears to be a distinct sub-variety of Cesanese Comune unique to the commune of Affile. (much like Brunello is a unique clone of Sangiovese unique to commune of Montalcino) There are noticeable differences between Cesanese Comune and the grapes found in Cesanese di Affile, including the size of the grape berry itself. The sub-variety Cesanese d’Affile is considered to be of superior quality of Cesanese Comune and is used as minor ingredient in the Tuscan cult wine Trinoro. The grape has very old origins, and may have been used in Roman winemaking. Today it is rarely seen outside of the Lazio.

Cesanese Comune has had a long history in the Lazio regions with ampelographers believing the grape to be indigenous to the region. While it may have been used in Roman winemaking, in recent centuries the grape has been on a steady decline. By 2000 there were less than 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) of the grape planted in Italy. The grape’s decline has coincided with the general decline of viticulture in the Lazio region as urban sprawl and more of the population shift from agriculture to more industrial enterprises.

In the 2000s, the Cesanese variety earned publicity for being included in the debut wine Sogno Uno by American porn star Savanna Samson. For her first foray into the wine industry, Samson sampled 80 Italian wines before deciding to base her first wine primarily on the rare Lazio grape. Her 2004 Sogno Uno, which earned a favorable 91pt rating from American wine critic Robert Parker, was composed of 70% Cesanese, 20% Sangiovese and 10% Montepulciano.


César is an ancient red wine grape from northern Burgundy. It makes dark, tannic wines that are softened by blending with Pinot Noir and sometimes by carbonic maceration. It was popular in the 19th century, but it has now been largely replaced by Pinot Noir.

There are small plantings of a “César” grape in Chile and Argentina, but they appear to be a different variety.


The name and the alternative of Romain refer to the tradition that César was brought to Burgundy by Roman legionaries.

However DNA fingerprinting has shown that it is the result of a cross between Pinot Noir and Argant. Pinot is of course the characteristic grape of Burgundy, although the Jurasiens claim that it came from the Jura. Argant is a Spanish grape that was certainly grown in the Jura in the 19th century. So it’s possible that Argant was the grape that the Romans brought from Spain, which then bred with Pinot in Burgundy by accident or design. Alternatively César was born in the Jura and then followed the armies north. Either way, the grape’s robust structure and colour are typical of its Spanish heritage.


Charbono is a grape variety found in California. It is not very common in California, but is the second most commonly grown variety in Argentina, where it is known as Bonarda (which is not the same as the Bonarda Piemontese varietal). The wine made from Charbono tends to be dark, with medium to high tannins and acidity


Cienna is an Australian red grape variety first bred in 2000. It is a mix between the Spanish Sumoll and Cabernet sauvignon grape. This grape was initially created in 1972 by CSIRO. They aim was to produce high quality grapes suited for Australian conditions. Today Brown Brothers is producing and selling a wine made from this grape.


Ciliegiolo is a variety of red wine grape from Italy, named after the Italian for ‘cherry’. It is a minor component of traditional blends such as Chianti, but interest has revived in recent years. In Umbria it is made into a light quaffing wine, in Tuscany it is made into a bigger, more structured style.

A study published in 2007 using DNA typing tentatively identified the Ciliegiolo and Calabrese di Montenuovo as the parents of Sangiovese, but this was immediately disputed by another study published the same year which claimed Ciliegiolo was the offspring of Sangiovese rather than the other way around. Thus, the exact nature of the genetic relationship (but not the presence of a close relationship) between Cilieglio and Sangiovese remains disputed.

Some legend claims that Ciliegiolo came to Italy from Spain, but the genetic link between Ciliegiolo and Sangiovese is practically impossible to reconcile with a Spanish origin.

The Florentine writer Soderini described a “Ciregiuolo dolce” in the 17th century that sounds very similar to Ciliegiolo.


Cinsaut or Cinsault (pronounced “san-so”) is a red wine grape, whose heat tolerance and productivity make it important in Languedoc-Roussillon and the former French colonies of Algeria and Morocco. It is often blended with grapes such as Grenache and Carignane to add softness and bouquet.

It has many synonyms, of which perhaps the most confusing is its sale as a table grape called ‘Oeillade’, although it is different from the “true” Oeillade which is no longer cultivated. In South Africa, it was known as “Hermitage”, hence the name of its most famous cross Pinotage.


Colorino is a red Italian wine grape variety planted primarily in Tuscany. The grape is known for its deep dark coloring and is used primarily as a coloring agent in red blends. In the history of Chianti it played a minor role, mostly for its affinity and use to the governo winemaking technique. Like Canaiolo, Colorino did not rot easily while going through the partial drying process to later be added to the fermenting grape must. However the grape did not provide the same level of fruit and softening effect that Canaiolo did and fell out of favor. In the late 1980s, there was a surge of interest in the variety among Tuscan winemakers who saw in this local grape variety similarity to the role Petite Verdot plays in Bordeaux blends. Colorino was planted and used to add darker colors and structure from phenolic compounds in the grape’s thick skin without the overpowering aromatics that Cabernet Sauvignon could add. This enthusiasm was short lived and by the turn of the 21st century Colorino returned once again to a minor role in Tuscan wines.


Complexa is red Portuguese wine grape used in the production of Madeira. The grape was created as a crossing of Castelao, Muscat Hamburg and Tintinha in the 1960s. The grape provides a deep color with less tannins than the commonly used Tinta Negra Mole.


Corvina is an Italian wine grape variety that is sometimes also referred to as Corvina Veronese or Cruina. It is mainly grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. Corvina is used with several other grapes to create the light red regional wines Bardolino and Valpolicella that have a mild fruity flavor with hints of almond. These blends include Rondinella, Molinara (and Rossignola for the latter wine). It is also used for the production of Amarone and Recioto. In Valpolicella, Corvina generally makes up to 70% of the blend. It is also used, at a minimum level of 85%, to make the Garda Corvina DOC.


Counoise is a dark-skinned wine grape grown primarily in the Rhône valley region of France. Counoise adds a peppery note and good acidity to a blended red wine, but does not have much depth of colour or tannin.There were 638 hectares (1,580 acres) of Counoise in France in 2000.

Counoise is one of the grapes allowed into the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. In 2004 only 0.5% of the appellation’s surface was planted with Counoise. Some producer which favour the variety use about 5% of it in their blends, and account for most of the plantations. One such producer is Château de Beaucastel, which is noted for using all the 13 allowed varieties.


Croatina is a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Oltrepò Pavese region of Lombardy and in the Province of Piacenza within Emilia Romagna, but also in parts of Piedmont and the Veneto. In the Oltrepò Pavese, in the hills of Piacenza, in Cisterna d’Asti and San Damiano d’Asti (Province of Asti), and in Roero this variety is called ‘Bonarda’. It should not, however be confused with the Bonarda piemontese, which is an unrelated vine. In the Piedmont region, it is sometimes blended with Nebbiolo in the wines of Gattinara and Ghemme.


Dobričić is an ancient red wine grape variety from the island of Šolta off the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. It is one parent of the Plavac Mali red wine grape variety; the other one is Zinfandel, a grape variety also known as Crljenak Kaštelanski in Croatia, from where it originates.


Dolcetto is a black wine grape variety widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The Italian word dolcetto means “little sweet one”, but it is not certain that the name originally carried any reference to the grape’s sugar levels: it is possible that it derives from the name of the hills where the vine is cultivated. In any case the wines produced are nearly always dry. They can be tannic and fruity with moderate, or decidedly low, levels of acidity and are typically meant to be consumed one to two years after release.


Domina is a dark-skinned variety of grape used for red wine. It was created by German viticulturalist Peter Morio at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in the Palatinate in 1927 by crossing the varieties Blauer Portugieser and Pinot Noir (known in Germany as Spätburgunder).

Work on the variety was the continued by Bernhard Husfeld at the same institute in the 1950s. The variety received protection and was released for general cultivation in 1974.

In 2006, there were 395 hectares (980 acres) of Domina in Germany, with an increasing trend. Domina plantings are primarily found in Franconia. Domina wines are dark red and rich in tannin.

Domina gives high yields and is not very demanding with respect to vineyard conditions. It ripens later than its parent Blauer Portugieser but earlier than its parent Pinot Noir. Domina wines are full-bodied and have a deep colour, but are not considered as elegant as German-grown Spätburgunder.


Dornfelder is a dark-skinned variety of grape of German origin used for red wine. It was created by August Herold (1902-1973) at the grape breeding institute in Weinsberg in the Württemberg region in 1955. Herold crossed the grape varieties Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, the latter which bears his name, to create Dornfelder. Helfensteiner (Frühburgunder × Trollinger) and Heroldrebe (Blauer Portugieser × Lemberger) were both crosses created some decades earlier by Herold.


Dunkelfelder is a dark-skinned variety of grape used for red wine. It was created by German viticulturalist Gustav Adolf Froelich (1847-1912). He probably crossed Färbertraube (a teinturier) with Blauer Portugieser. The variety, initially called Froelich V 4-4, did not receive any attention for several decades until work was continued on it at Geisenheim grape breeding institute in the 1930s. It was named Dunkelfelder (dunkel = dark) by ampelographer Helmut Becker, due to its unclear parentage and its dark colour. Dunkelfelder received varietal protection and was released for general cultivation in 1980.

In 2006, there were 372 hectares (920 acres) of Dunkelfelder in Germany, with an approximately constant trend. Plantings of Dunkelfelder are primarily found in Ahr, Baden, Nahe, Palatinate and Rheinhessen.

Dunkelfelder wines are deep and dark red in colour, which used to be difficult to achieve with German red wines, and it has therefore often been used for blends, although varietal Dunkelfelder wines are also produced.

It is known under the synonyms Farbtraube Froelich, Froelich V 4-4 and Purpur.


Duras is a traditional French variety of red wine grape that is mostly grown around the Tarn River, northeast of Toulouse. It is usually blended with other traditional varieties, but production has been declining in recent years.

Despite the name the grape appears to have no connection with of the Côtes de Duras east of Bordeaux, at least it is not grown there today.  Nor is any link known to the Durasa of Piedmont.


Durif is a variety of red wine grape primarily grown in California, Australia, France, and Israel. Recently wineries located in Washington’s Yakima River Valley, Maryland, Arizona, West Virginia, Chile, Mexico‘s Baja Peninsula, and Ontario‘s Niagara Peninsula have also produced wines from Durif grapes. It is the main grape known in the U.S. and Israel as Petite Sirah, with over 90% of the California plantings labeled “Petite Sirah” being Durif grapes; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recognizes “Durif” and “Petite Sirah” as interchangeable synonyms referring to the same grape. It produces tannic wines with a spicy, plummy flavour. The grape originated as a cross of Syrah pollen germinating a Peloursin plant. On some occasions, Peloursin and Syrah vines may be called Petite Sirah, usually because the varieties are extremely difficult to distinguish in old age.


Espadeiro is a red Portuguese wine grape planted primarily in the Minho region for making Vinho Verde. It is also grown across the border, in Spain, in Galicia where it is used to make light bodied wines.

Rather than being a single grape variety, there are several variants in the Espadeiro family of grapes, including Espadeiro Tinto and Espadeiro Mole, with partially overlapping synonyms.


Fer is a red wine grape that is grown primarily in South West France and is most notable for its role in Madiran, Gaillac, and Aveyron wines. In Béarn, the grape is commonly used in local wines under the name Pinenc. The vine is noted for its hard wood and difficulty in pruning. The French grape is not related to the Malbec clone of the same name that is commonly planted in Argentina.

Fetească Neagră

Fetească Neagră (Romanian pronunciation: [feˈte̯askə ˈne̯aɡrə]) is an old pre-phylloxeric variety of Moldovan grape , cultivated mainly in several areas in the Romanian regions of Moldavia and Muntenia and also in the Republic of Moldova.

These grapes produce dry, semi-dry or sweet wines, with an alcohol content of 12-12.5%, a deep red colour with ruby shades, and a black currant flavour, which becomes richer and smoother with aging.

In Hungary, it is called Fekete Leányka and it is grown from a variety originating from Transylvania.


Frappato di Vittoria or Frappato is a red Italian wine grape variety planted primarily in Sicily. As a varietal, Frappato produces light bodied wines with a distinct grapey aroma. It is most commonly seen as a component of Sicily’s only DOCG wine, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, which consists of 30-50% Frappato and 50-70% Nero d’Avola.

An Italian study published in 2008 using DNA typing showed a close genetic relationship between Sangiovese on the one hand and ten other Italian grape varieties on the other hand, including Frappato. It is therefore likely that Frappato is a crossing of Sangiovese and another, so far unidentified, grape variety.


Freisa is a red Italian wine grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy, primarily in Monferrato and in the Langhe, but also further north in the provinces of Turin and Biella. Freisa is a vigorous and productive vine whose round, blue-black grapes are harvested in early October. The three-lobed leaves are relatively small and the bunches are elongated in form. By the 1880s it had become one of the major Piedmontese grapes, and in that period its cultivation was stimulated by the vine’s resistance to the downy mildew caused by the Plasmopara viticola fungus. Wines made from the Freisa grape are red and usually somewhat sweet and lightly sparkling, or foaming. Still and fully sparkling versions are also produced, however, as are dry and more decidedly sweet styles. In the Canavese there is also a rosé which can be made primarily from Freisa according to Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) regulations.

Frühroter Veltliner

Frühroter Veltliner is a variety of early-ripening, red-skinned white wine grape grown primarily in the Weinviertel district of Lower Austria. It accounts for 1.3% of total Austrian vineyards and is diminishing.

Frühroter Veltliner is not at all related to Grüner Veltliner, but is a spontaneous cross between Roter Veltliner and Silvaner. It is not particularly demanding of its location and is resistant to both winter and late frosts. However, it ripens very early producing wines of neutral bouquet, high alcohol and somewhat low acidity.

It is rarely encountered in the Rheinhessen of Germany, in some older vineyards of Alto Adige in Italy, and in the Savoie of France.

Published on November 18, 2010 at 09:17  Comments (2)  

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  1. Hello! interesting site! I really like it! Very, very good!

    • Hello there !
      Come back and check the updates at Your convenience !
      Best Regards.

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