Top 39 popular grape varietals and their profile

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Here are some of the most common varietals grown all over the world, along with their country of origin (or country where they are popularized) and of course, their common flavors.

chardonnay grapes

White Varietals

  1. Albariño (Spain) -lighter wine, vibrant white flower, notes of ripe stone fruits.
  2. Aligote (France) – floral mixed with green herbs
  3. Chardonnay (France) -can be made into lighter or richer tasting wine, notes of apple, green mango, pineapple, banana, peach, apricot, etc. This is a chameleon, it takes on different flavors depending on where it is grown.
  4. Chenin Blanc (France) -can be made into light or rich wine, citrus, pear, apple, peach
  5. Gewurztraminer (Germany) -often off-dry with flavor of lychee, tropical fruit and passion fruit.
  6. Grüner Veltliner (Austria) -crisp and vibrant, flavor of peach, citrus fruit and spice.
  7. Marsanne (France) -can be blended with other reds or made by itself, rich nutty texture with flavor of honey and pear and ripe apple.
  8. Macabeo (Spain) -can be made into lighter or rich wine, flavor ranges from citrus, floral to honey, apricot and nutty.
  9. Muscat (international) -flower, peach, ripe melon, fruitcake, rose pedal.
  10. Muller-Thurgau (Germany) -similar to Riesling, flavor of green apple, peach, apricot
  11. Riesling (Germany) -versatile grape, can be made into lighter to rich dessert wine, wide range of flavor of floral, tangerine, to banana, peach, apricot, honey
  12. Roussanne (France) -pear, ripe apple, floral, pepper and nutty.
  13. Pinot Grigio (Italy) -lighter wine, subtle white flower, citrus, green apple, white peach
  14. Sauvignon Blanc (France & New Zealand) -Citrus, green apple, herb, fresh cut grass, gooseberry, peach, tropical lime.
  15. Semillon (France) -can be made into light refreshing wine or sweet dessert wine, flavors range from citrus, apple, pear to peach, nectarine, ripe mango and nutty.
  16. Trebbiano (Italy) -citrus, lime, tart apple with nutty strong finish
  17. Torrontes (Argentina) -Muscat-like quality, lighter of peach and apricot, white flower
  18. Viognier (France) -grapefruit, apple, pear, peach, mineral, apricot.


Red Varietals

  1. Barbera (Italy) -fresh juicy red berry, balanced acid and usually light to medium body.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon (France) -the king of grapes, takes on flavors on the terroir: cassis, raspberry, blackberry, blue berry, plum, fig, raisin, date, prune.
  3. Cabernet Franc (France) -dark berry, cassis, green vegetable, mineral
  4. Corvina (Italy) -sour cherry, raspberry, nutty notes, light to medium body
  5. Dolcetto (Italy) – cherry, almond, prune, licorice, dark chololate
  6. Garnache (France & Spain) -red cherry with distinct note of spice and pepper
  7. Malbec (France & Argentina) -used for blending in Bordeaux, France but dominant grape in Argentina, inky purple color with luscious fruit character of blackberry and blueberry.
  8. Merlot (France) -ripe strawberry, blackberry, plum with fine tannins, usually made medium to medium plus body wine with generous red fruit flavor.
  9. Montepulciano (Italy) -red berry, sour cherry, fruity character
  10. Mourvèdre (France) -red fruit, mint, leather, earth and cholocate
  11. Nebbiolo (Italy) – burnt molasses, dried rose pedal, stewed red cherry and strawberry, mineral
  12. Pinot Noir (France) -cherry, raspberry, strawberry, earth, mushroom
  13. Pinotage (South Africa) -red berry, tropical fruits, plum, smoke, earth
  14. Petite Sirah (California & Australia) -spicy, dense plum flavor, blackberry, nutty,
  15. Sangiovese (Italy) -red cherry, ripe strawberry, roast tea, tobacco, gravel
  16. Syrah (France & Australia) -blackberry jam, mint, peppery finish
  17. Tempranillo (Spain) -Strawberry, plum, sherry, chalk, spice
  18. Tinto Fino -variation of Tempranillo, grown in Ribera Del Duero, intense dark fruit, blueberry, blackberry, licorice, leather, smoke, tobacco, earth.
  19. Touriga Nacional (Portugal) -rich full body wine, notes of plum, blackberry, mint, slate
  20. Zinfandel (California & Italy) -also known as Primitivo in Italy, fruity character, red berry, blackberry, anise, spice.


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