Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, is the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy. It produces good yields and is known for deep color, full body, low tannins and high levels of acid.
Cabernet Franc is one of the major black 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.
Originated from Bordeaux this small berried and thick skinned violet coloured grape is popular because of its juiciness and sweet taste.
Carignan is a red grape variety of Spanish origin that is more commonly found in French wine but is widely planted throughout the western Mediterranean and around the globe. Carignan is a late ripening grape which requires a warm climate in order to achieve full ripeness.
The success of chardonnay is so striking that it has almost become a brand name in itself, though in its homeland of Burgundy the name rarely appears on the label.
Chenin blanc is a white wine grape variety from the Loire Valley of France. Outside the Loire it is found in most of the New World wine regions; it is the most widely planted variety in South Africa, where it is also known as Steen.
Furmint is a white Hungarian wine grape variety that is most noted widely grown in the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region where it is used to produce single-varietal dry wines as well as being the principal grape in the better known Tokaji dessert wines.
Gamay is a purple-colored grape variety most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc. It has been often cultivated because it makes for abundant production; however, it can produce wines of distinction when planted on acidic soils.
Gewürztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety, used in white wines, and performs best in cooler climates. The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees.
It is found all over southern Europe, thriving in hot, dry vineyards. It is a key player in the Mediterranean coasts where it's known as garnacha, and in Australia.
Malbec is focus of Argentine plantings in Mendoza, where it yields a velvety, concentrated wine of high alcohol, fruit content and extract.
Extremely popular though underappreciated by some, merlot is characterised by a softness of texture and fruit-forward character.
Mourvèdre (also known as Mataró or Monastrell) is a red wine grape variety, and it is a prominent component in "GSM" (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) blends.
The variety can be a difficult grape to grow, to produce intensely flavored fruit that is not overly jammy or herbaceous.
Their colors range from white (such as Muscat Ottonel), to yellow (Moscato Giallo), to pink (Moscato rosa del Trentino) to near black (Muscat Hamburg). Muscat grapes and wines almost always have a pronounced sweet floral aroma.
Though Nebbiolo is grown globally, only 457 hectares found outside its native area in the northwest Italian region of Piedmont, where it forms the base of many of the regions most well known wines.
Palomino is a white grape widely grown in Spain and South Africa, and best known for its use in the manufacture of sherry. The wine formed by fermentation of the grape is low in both acidity and sugar which, is suitable for making sherry.
Pinot gris, pinot grigio or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape variety. Thought to be a mutant clone of the pinot noir, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name. The word pinot supposedly could have been given to it because the grapes grow in small pine cone-shaped clusters.
Pinot noir is arguably the most charismatic of all grape varieties, and without doubt the hardest to get right. It's responsible for some of the world's best red wines – and some of the worst.
Primitivo (also known as Zinfandel) is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California vineyards. The grape originated in Dalmatia, Croatia and Southern Italy.
To many, the chameleonic riesling grape is the finest white wine variety in the world. No other white grape can produce such an astonishing range of delicate yet persistent aromas and flavours or keep its freshness over so many years with such modest alcohol levels.
Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jupiter". Though it is the grape of most of central Italy, it is most famous as the main component of the blend Chianti.
An early-ripening, aromatic grape, sauvignon produces dry wines, with marked acidity that are distinctly aromatic and herbaceous.
This golden-berried variety, hailing from south-west France, is often referred to as an unsung hero. Its small, thin-skinned berries are highly susceptible to rot, ideal for producing botrytised wines and some of the world's greatest examples in Sauternes and Barsac.
Syrah, or shiraz as it is known in the New World, is considered to be one of the great noble black grape varieties, due to its ability to produce dark, full-bodied, age-worthy wines.
It is a robust, dark-skinned variety producing equally powerful and full-bodied wines.
Tempranillo is Spain's most distinguished grape variety, providing the backbone of some of the peninsula's most prized wines, including Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro.
Touriga Nacional is a red wine grape, considered by many to be Portugal's finest. Despite the low yields from its small grapes, it plays a big part in ports, and is being used for table wine in the Douro and Dão. Touriga Nacional provides structure and body to wine, with high tannins and concentrated flavors of black fruit.
Vermentino is a light-skinned wine grape variety, primarily found in Italian wine. It is widely planted in Sardinia, in Liguria primarily under the name Pigato, to some extent in Corsica, in Piedmont under the name Favorita, and in increasing amounts in Languedoc-Roussillon.
The distinctive, yellow-hued viognier grape produces wines described as sensuous, hedonistic and seductive. It requires a good deal of warmth to ripen and develop fully, and striking the balance between its delicate, floral quality and often rich texture and high alcohol levels presents a challenge to winemakers.