Agiorgitiko (ah-yor-YEE-ti-ko) - A Greek grape grown mainly in the Peloponnese, this grape is used to produce fruit-filled reds.

Aglianico (Ahl-YAH-nee-koh) - An Italian grape primarily grown in the regions of Basilicata and Campania, but may also be found in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Barbara (Bar-BEAR-ah) - An Italian grape from the Piedmont area, known for it depth of color, low tannins and low acidity.

Brachetto (Bra-CHET-toh) - An Italian grape that produces a light bodied wine, aromatic wine, that is typically low in alcohol. Used to produce Brachetto d'Acqui from Piedmont which is almost always produced fizzy (frizzante) or sparkling (spumante).

Blaufrankisch (Blow-FRAHN-keesh) - A German grape that is grown throughout central Europe as well as Washington State and the Finger Lakes region of New York.  This grape produces wine that is rich in tannin with a spicy character. Also known as Lemberger in Germany.

Cabernet Franc (Cab-er-nay-FRAWNC) - Grown throughout the world, this grape is used to produce the varietal wine, but is also largely used in blends with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce Bordeaux style wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon (Cah-bare-nay so-veen-yawn) - One of the most widely known grapes is grown throughout the world. Used in Bordeaux blends with Cabernet Franc and Merlot, but also an outstanding varietal. Originally developed by crossing Cabernet Franc with Sauvignon Blanc.

Canaiolo (Cana-I-olo) - A Tuscan grape that originally was the main grape used in Chianti, but now is used in blending with Sangiovese based wines.

Carignan (Kah-ree-NYAHN) - A Spanish/French grape planted around the world. Though originally used for much of California's jug wine, today it produces varietal wines that are high in tannins and acid.

Carmenere (Car-men-YARE) - A member of the Cabernet family, this grape was originally widely planted in France but is now highly successful in Chile and finding its way into Italy, New Zealand and the US (California and Washington).


Ciliegiolo (Ceel-e-GEE-oh-loh) - An Italian grape from the word for cherry. Ciliegiolo grapes both resemble and have the aroma of cherries and produce a light to medium bodied varietal.

Cinsault (San-SO) - Often used in blends of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Rarely used to produce a varietal wine.

Colorino (Co-lor-E-noh) - A Tuscan grape that in the past was used in blending with Sangioviese to give it color. Sometimes used in Chainti.

Corvina (Core-VEE-nah) - An Italian grape used in making Valpolicella wines.  Australia and Argentina have had some success growing this grape that has a high level of acidity and distinctive cherry and herbaceous flavors.

Counoise (koo-nwahz) - Used in the production of blended red wines and rosé in southern France. Its most famous application is in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend, but a number of varietals are produced.

Dolcetto (Dol-CHET-oh) - An Italian grape widely grown in the Piedmont region. Wines produced with this grape can be high in tannin, fruity, and low to moderate acidity and should be consumed in three to four years after production.

Dornfelder (Dawn-fell-der) - A relatively new grape that was created in 1956. Dornfelder is the second most widely planted grape in Germany. While it is often blended with Pinot Noir, it is also used to produce rose that has good acidity and a hint of sweetness.

Frappato (Frahp-paht-oh) - A Sicilian grape that produces a gentle, easy drinking wine with supple tannins and red fruit aromas of cherry and strawberry. Often blended with Nero d'avila to add freshness to the wine.

Gamay (Gah-may) - Most notable in the Beaujolais region of France, this grape produces light, fruity wines.  Used most notably in Beaujolais Nouveau.

Grenache (Gren-AHSH) - Planted extensively in Spain (Garnacha), France, Australia and the US, this is one of the most widely used grapes in the world.  With low acidity, tannin and color, this is often blended with other varieties, most notably Syrah and Mourvedre. As a varietal, it is rich and spicy with berry flavors.

Lambrusco (Lahm-bru-sko) - Used in the making of sparkling red wines in Northern Italy. It is a collective term for a group of grape varieties with more than 60 having been identified.

Lagrein (lah-GRAYN) - An Italian grape grown in the Alpine valley of Alto-Adige.  Lean, peppery, bright and astringent. Somewhat like a lighter version of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Very small amount of Lagrein being grown in the U.S. (Paso Robles) where it has flavors of cherry, raspberry, black pepper and cedar, with high acidity and strong tannin.

Malbec (MOWL-beck) - Native to France, this grape is now best known from Argentina, especially the Mendoza region.  This wine can be rich and jammy.

Maturana Tinta (Mah-tur-anna Teen-ta) - A near-extinct red wine grape of Spain's most famous wine region, Rioja.

Merlot (Mare-lo) - In France, Merlot is most often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot in Bordeaux (Saint-Emilion and Pomerlo) wines. It is also a very popular varietal due to its soft tannins and intense fruit flavors. 

Molinara - A light-bodied Italian red grape that is used in blending Valpolicella, Bardolino and IGT Veneto wines. Molinara is fairly nondescript and rarely appears as a varietal wine.

Monastrell (maw-nehs-TRELL) - See Mourvedre.

Montepulciano (mohn-teh-pool-CHAH-nooh) - Originally from Abruzzo in Central Italy. Produces a bold and rustic wine with tart red and black fruit flavors and lots of pepper. In California, these grapes produce flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, green olive and pepper with high acid and tannin.

Morenillo (mor-ah-NEE-yoh) - Unique to Spain's Terra Alta region, this grape is nearly extinct and does not exist outside the region. The grape is similar to Pinot Noir.

Mourvedre (Moor-VEH-druh) - Originally from Spain (Monastrell), this grape is now grown throughout France, California and Australia. High in tannins, this grape is often used for blending with Grenache and Syrah.

Muscardin (MUHS-kuh-dihn) - One of the permitted grapes in the Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation wines.  It is rarely used to produce a varietal wine.

Nebbiolo (Nay-bee-OH-loh) - An Italian grape largely associated with the Piedmont region used in making wines of Barbaresco, Barolo, Gattinara and Ghemme. These wines are distinguished by strong tannins, high acidity and distinctive scents of tar and roses.

Negroamaro (Neg-row-ah-MAR-oh) - A dark skinned Italian grape commonly used in blends, having medium tannins and dark berry fruit flavors.

Nero d'Avola (Ner-oh de-AV-oh-la) - Also known as Calabrese. This Italian grape is widely planted in Sicily. Used in blending wines in the past, but now being produced as a varietal.

Perricone (Payr-ree-coh-nay) - A Sicilian grape that produces wines with aromas of spicy red fruit, herbs and earthy flavors. Smooth tannins and fresh.  

Petite Sirah (Puh-TEET-see-rah) - This grape produces tannic wines with high acidity and flavors of blackberry, blue berry, chocolate, and black pepper.  This grape is also known outside North and South America as Durif, named for its discoverer, Dr. Francois Durif.  This grape was derived from the Syrah grape.

Petit Vedot (Puh-TEE-Vair-DO) - Used in Bordeaux blends, this grape is also being produced into varietal wines, having high tannin levels, and great depth of color.

Pinot Meunier (Pee-noh Mehr-n'yay) - A dark berry grape most notably used in Champagne. Few varietals are produced but are generally rose wines designed for immediate consumption. Also know as Schwarzriesling in Germany.

Pinot Noir (Pee-no-nwarh) - Originally associated with the wines of Burgundy, this grape is now seeing tremendous popularity throughout the world.  This grape produces medium bodied, low tannin wines with flavors of cheeries, raspberries and strawberries.  The Pinot Noir grape is also a primary variety used in the production of Champagne.

Pinotage (Pee-noh-TAHJ) - A signature grape of South Africa, it is a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut that produces deep color with smoky and earthy flavors.

Portugieser (por-chuc-GHEE-zer) - Used to produce a light red wine (especially in Germany) that is fresh and sometimes tart.  This is a very prolific grape with low acidity.

Primitivo (Prim-ah-TEE-voh) - Known as Zinfandel in the United States, this Italian grape produces wines with high tannin and alcohol, intense flavors and deep color.

Rondinella (rhon-de-NEHL-ah) - An Italian grape mainly grown in the Veneto region and used in Valpolicella and Bardolino wines.  Used primarily in blends, this grape is rarely used to produce a varietal.

Sagrantino (Sag-RAN-tee-noh) - An Italian grape that is very dark in color, heavy in body and produces a very tannic wine.

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Saint Laurent (Saint Laur-ent) - An aromatic black grape variety planted in parts of central Europe. It is most commonly found in Austria, but  is also the most widely planted red variety in the Czech Republic. Saint-Laurent wines are dark purple in color, structured yet silky with a characteristic dark-cherry flavor (similar to Pinot Noir).

Sangiovese (San-jo-VAY-zay) - The most widely planted Italian grape used as the main component of Chianti (Sangiovese grown in the Chianti region of Italy).  This grape is also used in Brunello di Montalicino and Rosso di Montalcino as well as in the making of the varietal wine with medium tannins and high acidity. Also used in the more modern 'Super Tuscans' blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah.

Schiava (SKYAH-vah) - Produces lite body, simple, wines with fresh acidity.  Also known as Tollinger.

Syrah/Shiraz (See-rah/Shih-Rahz) - Know as 'Syrah' throughout most of world, but known as 'Shiraz' in Australia.   Full bodied with soft tannins and jammier fruit flavors. In the Rhone Valley region of France, Syrah is blended with Grenache and Mourvedre. Varietal Syrah can develop peppery notes, leather and smoke with age.

Tannat (Ten-NET) - A French grape that produces a deep, dark, dry and rustic wine with high acidity and aggressive tannins.

Tempranillo (Tem-prah-NEE-yoh) - Native to Spain, this dark black grape is the main grape used in Spanish Rioja, but will also be found in Ribera del Duero and Toro wines. Used in blends and produced as a varietal. Moderate tannins and balanced acidity.

Terre Noir (Terh-ray no-nwarh) - One of the permitted grapes in the Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation wines.

Touriga Nacional (too-REE-gah nah-syoo-nhal) - A grape from Portugal that is an important part of the Port blend. But it is also used in red wine blends. It is concentrated in flavor,  nicely structured, floral and fruity. Nearly extinct 40 years ago, it is now also grown in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and France.


Trepat (treh-PAHT) - A Spanish grape most notable for use in the production of rosado Cava (sparkling rosé), but also blended with Garnacha and Tempranillo.

Vaccarese (vay-kar-ese) - It is one of the 13 red grape varieties allowed in the Rhone Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend, although it is rarely used due to its scarcity.  Also known as Brun Argenté.

Xinomavro (ksee-NO-ma-vro) - A Greek grape that produces powerful tannic wines that age well.


Zinfandel (ZIN-fan-dell) - Known as Primitivo in Italy, this grape is widely known for producing a robust red wine that has big fruit flavors and often is described as 'jammy.'  While this grape became popular for its semi-sweet rosé version, White Zinfandel, it is best known in producing the dry red varietal that has medium to medium-high tannin and acidity.

Zweigelt (TSVYE-gelt) - The most planted grape in Austria. Produces a light red wine similar to Grenache or Gamay.