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Wine Grapes


White Grapes


The most fashionable grape variety in the world.  Grown in many countries, it produces different styles of wine such as dry Chablis from France or rich and buttery from Australia.

Chablis style � steely, dry
Oaked � rich, buttery, toffee, toasty, full-bodied
Unoaked � tropical, peach, fresh flavours

Chenin Blanc

A classic grape from the Loire, but nowadays widely planted in South Africa.  Noted for its high acidity, New World Chenins tend towards tropical fruit flavours, apples, apricots, nuts and honey.  Chenin from the Loire such as Vouvray can be medium-sweet but crisp with high acidity, green apples and slightly honeyed.

Sauvignon Blanc

Famous for the Loire wines such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.  It is now equally well known for producing fine wines in New Zealand.  Typical nose is gooseberries, grassy with tangy acidity and is very crisp and refreshing.


Regarded by many as the greatest grape of all.  It is traditionally associated with Alsace and Germany where it makes both dry and sweet wines.  It is best suited to cool climates.  Typical characteristics are floral, perfumed aromas, with notes of citrus, lime and apples.


One of the great white grapes from the Rhone valley.  It is prized for its intense aromatics with a distinctive nose of apricots, peaches and honeysuckle. 

Pinot Gris/Grigio

Produces slightly spicy wine, and has a delicate nose with fresh melon, following through on the palate with crisp acidity.

Pinot Blanc

A relative of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc is found especially in Alsace.  Fresh buttery fruit flavours.


One of the major components of Sauternes and Graves (White Bordeaux); it tends to lack fruit acidity which is why it is often blended with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.  It has flavours of grass, citrus, honey and toast.


At its best in Alsace - very aromatic and spicy.  It produces full-bodied wines with low acidity.


Red Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon

Considered by many to be the greatest red grape, and is the mainstay of Bordeaux wines.  Strong tannins with distinctive notes of blackcurrant, cedar, green pepper, dark chocolate and mint.


A classic red grape from the Rhone valley. It is also planted extensively in Australia and South Africa where it is known as Shiraz.  The grape makes dark, rich wines, full-bodied with aromas of blackberries, black pepper, damsons, mixed spice, tar and game.

Pinot Noir

Associated with the wines of Burgundy.  It can taste almost sweet with notes of raspberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries and violets, or be gamey with a nose of compost and mushrooms.


One of the three grapes of red Bordeaux, it is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon but less tannic, with plums, roses, rich fruitcake and spice on the palate.


Grown in Bordeaux where it has a minor role in blends: it tends to be very dark and tannic. However, in Argentina the grape has become a key variety in its own right. Argentinean Malbec produces a soft, medium-bodied style of wine.


The main constituent of Cotes du Rhone wine (usually with Mouvedre and Syrah grapes), it produces wines with warm flavours of peppery fruit, herbs and raspberries.


Pinotage was created in 1925 by crossing Pinot Noir with the Cinsault grape.  This is a speciality of South Africa, the grape produces full-bodied wine with ripe, sweet fruit and an unusual nose of burnt rubber.


Used exclusively in Beaujolais resulting in fruity, uncomplicated wines for immediate drinking, with flavours of strawberries and cherries.  It tends to be quite acidic, which makes for a refreshing wine. 


Best expressed in the wines of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from the Italian region of Tuscany.  Sangiovese in these wines produces a medium to full, firm, dry wine, slightly spicy, with bitter cherry, spices, tobacco and herb aromas.


Spain�s quality grape, essential in Rioja. Much of the wine produced from Tempranillo spends time in oak barrels producing soft, tobacco-scented wine with strawberry, spices, and soft buttery toffee aromas.


Traditionally nearly always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, however, also used as a single variety in the Loire and increasingly popular as a single variety in the New World.  Cabernet Franc produces similar wines to Cabernet Sauvignon but less tannic and a little â��greenerâ��, green pepper, blackcurrant berries and leaves, strawberry, and chocolate.


An Italian varietal that produces great Barolo and Barbaresco.  It can have notes of tar, liquorice, violets, roses, prunes, bitter chocolate and fruitcake.  It has the ability to age well.