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Wine Grape Varieties

Approximately 71% of world grape production is used to make wine. Over 99% of the world's wine is made from one species of grape - Vitis Vinifera (v. Vinifera), which is also known as the common wine grape. Vitis Vinifera is a grape species that is native to Europe and east and central Asia. There are thousands of varieties including all of the well known varieties such Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. Vitis Vinifera grapes are now grown all over the world. In North America, Vitis Vinifera grape vines are typically grafted onto native grape root stocks to combat phylloxera, an insect pest that attacks the roots of Vitis Vinifera vines. Hybrid varieties that are a cross between Vitis Vinifera and native North American grape varieties have also been created to combat the phylloxera problem.

In this section we provide an alphabetical listing and descriptions of most of the major and many of the minor varieties of wine grapes.

Major and Minor Wine Grapes

Red Wine Grapes White Wine Grapes
Barbarossa
Barbera
Brunello
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Gamay
Merlot
Montepulciano
Nebbiolo
Petit Verdot
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Shiraz (Syrah)
Syrah (Shiraz)
Zinfandel
Chardonnay
Chenin Blanc
Colombard
Fume Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc)
Gewürztraminer
Müller-Thurgau
Muscat / Moscato
Pinot Blanc
Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris)
Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)
Riesling / Johannisberg Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc (Fume Blanc)
Sémillon
Silvaner / Sylvaner
Verdicchio
Vernaccia
Viognier


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