Grape Varietals Pt. 2

A photo by Maja Petric. In the world of winemaking, there are only a few vines that grow the right grape to make wine. About 90% of wines are made from a vine called vitis vinifera. However, within vitis vinifera, there are thousands of varieties of grapes. I’ll introduce you to the major varietals: 20 to be exact.

5. Chenin Blanc- Pronounced as (shehn-IHN BLAHN) This varietal is native to multiple areas of France. However, in the recent years, it has become more popular in South Africa. Today, chenin blanc makes up about a fifth of vineyards in South Africa.

6. Gewürztraminer- Pronounced as (geh-VUHRT-strah-mee-nuhr) Personally, this is one of my favorites among whites. I also am a big fan of the pronunciation. Aside from that, gewürztraminer is grown in much cooler climates. Alsace region of France, New Zealand, and cool coastal regions. Wine made from these grape pair well with spicy dishes.

7. Grenache- Pronounced as (greh-NAH’SH) This varietal thrives in warm growing conditions. As such, it is another very popular varietal grown in California. More specifically, central California. Wine produced from this grape tends to have a sweet, fruit-like flavor which blends well with other grapes.

8. Malbec- Pronounced as (MAHL-behk) This varietal was originally grown throughout western France, but have recently become more popular in California and South America. This grape is often used as a blender for other grapes because it adds complexity and color.