If you like to buy wine by grape variety, this section is for you. For those of you keen to explore something new, there are scores of exciting grape varieties here waiting to be discovered.
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One of the precursor grapes from which Cabernet Sauvignon was spontaneously crossed in the late 17th century, the Cabernet Franc vine is thought to be native to Bordeaux. Also known in Bordeaux as the Bouchet, it is earlier-ripening than Cabernet Sauvignon and is characterized by flavors similar to those of its relative, but with lower levels of acid, extract and tannin. Its primary contributions to a blend are alcohol, polyphenols (flavoring components) and aromatic elegance. While it has come to play an important though minor role in...read more
Cabernet Sauvignon contends for the title of the greatest red wine grape of the world, the benchmark vine of Bordeaux and California. Adaptable to various growing conditions, its sublime blackcurrant, cedar and herbal qualities more than compensate for its low yield and late ripeness. Cabernet Sauvignon’s very small, thick-skinned berries provide a high ratio of solids to juice, resulting in wines of deep color, extract and tannin. The vine was first identified in France in 1736 as the “Vidure” for the hard wood of its stalk...read more
The Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (white muscat with small berries) is the oldest of all known vines. The ampelographer Galet traces it to the Greek “anathelicon moschaton” and the Roman “uva apiane”, probably brought north first by the Greeks and later by the Romans. The Roman name, from Latin “apis,” or “bee,” suggests insects’ fondness for the sweet, perfumed fruit, as do “mosca” and “mouche,” Italian and French for “fly.” The Muscat family numbers over 200 subvarieties which fall into three broad groups: the...read more
This ancient native Tuscan vine was probably first cultivated very early from the wild “vitis silvestris” by the Etruscans, and is one of Italy’s oldest red varieties. The name, from Latin “sanguis Jovis,” means “blood of Jupiter.” Now widely disseminated throughout the country, it is Italy’s most prevalent red vine, and beyond its primary concentration in Tuscany is also extensively planted in Emilia-Romanga and Umbria. Genetically highly unstable, it is thought to have split in the early 1800s into two...read more