Albariño/Alvarinho  (Ahl-bar-reen-yo)/Ahl-vah-REE-Nyoh) - Known as Albariño in Spain, and Alvarinho in Portugal, this grape is high in acidity and produces a light white wine or sparkling wine. This wine can have a creamy texture.

Aligote (ah-lee-go-tay) - Most famously from France, this grape is often blended in small amounts with Chardonnay. Production of Aligote is also found in Bulgaria, Romania and California.

Aidani (ah-ee-THA-nee) - A Greek grape that is often blended with Assyrtiko, but is gaining popularity as a varietal.

Airen (i-RHEEN ) -- The most widely planted grape in the world. Planted throughout Spain, this grape is used traditionally to produce the base for Spain's brandy industry. But, Airen is now being used to produce simple, refreshing, dry white wines.

Arneis (Ar-NAYZ) - An Italian grape originating from the Piedmont region that produces a crisp, floral wine that tend to be dry and full-bodied. Sometimes added in small amounts to Nebbiolo and Barbera wines to soften their tannins.

Assyrtiko (ah-SEER-tee-ko) - Originally from Santorini, a Greek Island, but now planted throughout Greece. This is an acidic grape that is very versatile in wine production.

Bourboulenc (Boor-boo-lonk) - Grown mostly in southern France and used in blending. It is permitted in the white wines of a wide range of appellations including Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Brianna (bree-ANN-nah) - Developed in 1983 by Elmer Swenson in Wisconsin, this hybrid varietal is planned in the upper Mid-west states of Illinios, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska due to its hardiness in the cold. Usually used in blends. Varietal wines are rare.

Catarratto (Cah-tahr-raht-to) - One of the most ancient and versatile grapes grown in Sicily. These grapes produce wines with aromas and flavors of ripe citrus, melon and passion fruit. It results in a full-bodied wine with high acidity. Also used in the production of Marsala wine.

Chardonnay (Shar-doe-NAY) - Possibly the world's best known white wine grape. Known as white Burgundy in France, this grape is planed worldwide.  Chardonnay wines can range from crisp and fruity, to rich and buttery depending on the growing region, temperatures, fermentation types and aging.  Cool climates produce light to medium bodied wines with high acidity and crisp fruit flavors.  Warmer climates tend to produce wines with richer, deeper flavors.  Chardonnay that has gone through the added Malolactic fermentation process are softer in their acidity and fruit flavors and can have a buttery mouthfeel.  Oak aging adds to the deep flavors of vanilla and hazelnuts.

Chenin Blanc (Shen-in-blonk) - Commonly associated with France's Loire Valley, this grape produces wine with high acidity ranging from sweet and fruity to full-bodied. Also used in dessert wines and sparkling wines. 

Clairette (Kleh-RHEHT) - Clairette is permitted as a blending grape in a wide range of appellations in the Languedoc and Rhone regions of France, most notably in the red and white wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Fumé Blanc (Foom-aye blonk) - See Sauvignon Blanc

Furmint (FOOR-mint) - Most notably associated with Hungarian Tokaji. High acidity and complex flavors are present in the dry varietal and the sweet dessert wine.

Garganega (Gahr-gah-NEH-gah) - The grape used to make Soave and Gambellara in Veneto, northern Italy. (Same as Grecanico)  

Gewurztraminer (Geh-VIRT-trah-MEE-ner) - This grape with high natural sugar produces wines of low acidity with perfumed scents, strong fruit and spicy flavors.

Grecanico (Graa-kah-nee-ko) - This is a Sicilian grape that is used to produce varietal and blends. It produces light refreshing wines with aromas of melon, flowers, almonds and tree fruits and flavors of pear, white peach, and nectarine. It is medium bodied. (Same as Garganega)

Grillo (Gree-lo) - This grape is one of the best known Sicilian grapes that produces lighter wines that smell of cut-grass and grapefruit with moderate acidity. Also used in the production of Marsala wine.

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Gruner Veltliner (GROO-ner-FELT-lih-ner) - Primarily from Austria but also widely grown in Slovakia and Czech Republic, this grape produces crisp and spicy wines with citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit along with a hint of white pepper.

Inzolia (Een-zoh-lee-ah) - A grape of Sicily that features spice and floral aromas with light flavors of pear, nuts and spices. A soft and well balanced wine.

Macabeo (mah-kah-BEH-oh) - Grown throughout Spain, where it goes by the name of Viura. Used in the production of Cava along with Parelada and Xarel-lo.

Malagousia (mah-lah-goo-ZYA) - From northern Greece, this grape produces medium-bodied, rich tasting wines.

Malvasia (Mal-vah-SEE-ah/mal-VAH-zha) - Historically grown in the Mediterranean, this family of grapes is now grown in many parts of the wine making world and used in making sweet, dry and sparkling wines.   Varieties of grapes in this family include Malvasia bianca, Malvasia di Schierano, Malvasia negra, Malvasia nera and Malvasia near di Brindisi.  These grapes are used to produce white table wines. Dessert wines and fortified wines (Madeira) are also produced with this family of grapes.

Marsanne (Mar-SAHN) - From the Rhone Valley, this grape is used in white wines of Hermitage. Often blended with Roussanne.  This grape is commonly used in producing a dry-style wine. But, dried grapes are used to produce sweet wines.

Moschofilero (mos-ko-FEE-le-ro) - A very aromatic variety from the Peloponnese region of Greece. Best as an aperitif.

Muller-Thurgau (MEW-luhr-TOOR-gow) - Predominantly used in Germany, the wine produced from this grape has been described as 'bland' and simi-sweet. While often blended with other grapes, the varietals are often sweet with low acid and a range of fruit flavors.

Muscat Blanc (MUHS-kat blonk) - The Muscat blanc grape produces white wines that almost always have a sweet floral aroma.  The wines have a distinct 'grapey' aroma but has low acidity that doesn't usually age well.  Muscat grapes can produce sweet, medium, dry, sparkling and dessert wines.

Palomino (pah-loh-Mee-noh) - From the Jerez region in southwestern Spain. This is the grape used to make sherry.

Picardan (pee-KARH-dahn) - One of 13 permitted blending grapes within the  Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC in Rhône wine region in France, although very little is planted. Also known as Araignan Blanc.

Piquepoul - Both the blanc and noir versions of Piquepoul are permitted blending grapes for the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Parellada (pah-reh-Yah-dah) - One of Catalonia's widely planted varieties. Blended with other grapes in the production of Cava.

Pinot Blanc (PEE-no-Blonk) - Used in the production of sweet dessert wines, sparkling wines and still wines, this grape produces medium to full-bodied wines with moderate acidity. This grape is permitted in Champagne, but plays a minor role compared to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio (Pee-noh-GREE/Pee-noh-GREE-gee-oh) - Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity and high in sugar and produce wines that are full-bodied, fruity and can have an oily texture.  In Italy, Pinot Grigio is lighter and dry, while Pinot Gris in the rest of the world is often sweeter or richer.

Prosecco (Pro-SAHY-coh) - Prosecco grapes are today known as Glera grapes. The Italian white sparkling wine may also be made from Bianchetta Trevigiana grapes.  Glera has high acidity, neutral flavors. Prosecco is generally light-bodied and lower in alcohol.

Rabo de Ovelha (Rah-bow deh OH-vel-ah) - A light skinned grape from Portugal that is the major ingredient in white port. This grape may be the same as Rabigato.

Riesling (REEZ-ling) - Originating in the Rhone region of Germany. It is used in producing a range of wines from sweet to dry, including sparkling wines.  The Riesling grape is high in acidity and has strong aromas that tend to be flowery and perfumed.


Robola (ro-BO-la) - This grape from the Ionian Islands of Greece, makes rich and robust wines.

Roditis (ro-DEE-tees) - A Greek grape that produces crisp wines with herbal and citrus flavors.

Roussanne (Rhue-SAHN) - Originally grown in the northern Rhone Valley, this grape is traditionally blended with Marsanne in the Northern Rhone region. These blends are best known in Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph. This blend is also used in the sparkling wines of Saint-Peray.  Aromas of flowery herbal tea and flavors of honey and pear make this a full-bodied wine with higher acidity.

Sauvignon Blanc (So-vin-YAWN-Blonk) - Originating from the Bordeaux region of France, this grape produces a crisp and refreshing white wine that can be semi-sweet to dry with fresh fruit flavors of apples, grapefruit and tropical fruits and tends to be high in acidity.  In the 1960s, Robert Mondavi renamed his Sauvignon Blanc to Fumé Blanc for marketing purposes, basing the name on the Pouilly Fumé region of France.

Sauvignon Gris (So-vin-YAHN-gree) - A mutation from the Sauvignon Blanc, this grape is primarily used in small quantities in the white Bordeaux blends, although varietals are made.

Semillon (Seh-mee-YOHN) - Originally from Bordeaux, this grape is often used to produce sweet wines that tend to be silky smooth. Often blended with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.

Silvaner (SIL-van-ner) - The third largest planted varietal in Germany. This grape ripens early, has high acidity but neutral aromas. It is often blended.

Torrontes (Tore-ahn-TAYZ) - From Argentina, this grape produces wines with medium acidity, and aromas of peach and apricot.  There are actually three varieties of Torrontes: Torrontes Sanjuanino, Torrontes Mendocino and Torrontes Riojano with the later of the three being most widely planted. 

Trebbiano (Treb-bee-AH-no) - Originally from Italy, this grape has become a key ingredient in Cognac and Armagnac. While typically being used in white blends, this grape is the most widely used grape in Italy and France. Found mostly in Tuscany, this grape used in red blends as well.

Verdejo (Vehr-DAY-hoh) - From Spain, this grape is used to produce both a varietal wine and blends, with either SauvignonBlanc or Viura. The varietal is full-bodied, with balanced acidity with herbs and nutty characteristics.

Verdelho (Ver-dell-yoh) - Grown primarily in Portugal, Spain and Australia. In Portugal, Verdelho from the island of Madeira is used to make the fortified Madeira wine. While sometimes used to produce a varietal wine, Verdelho is also blended with Chardonnay or Semillon that are intended for immediate consumption.

Verdicchio (Vehr-dee-kee-oh) - Originally from the Marche region of central Italy, this grape is used for both light table wines and more complex varietals. High acidity is one of its prominent characteristics. 

Vermentino (ver-meh-tee-noo) - Primarily from Italy, this grape produces a variety of white wines, including sweet and sparkling. With refreshing acidity, this wine has aromas of lemon peel, peach and dried herbs, with a bit of minerality.  Used in the Tuscan Bolgheri blend wines. In California (Lodi) this grape produces flavors of peach and grapefruit. This grape is also known as Rolle in Provence.


Viognier (Vee-own-nay) - This grape produces a soft, full-bodied wine with flavors of peaches, pears, apricots and noted minerality.  The Viognier grape is the only one permitted in the production of the French wine Condriue from the Rhone Valley.

Viosinho (Vee-oh-SEEN-ho) - A Portuguese grape used most often in white port.

Viura (vee-YOO-rah) - Grown predominately in the Rioja region of Spain to produce low acidity wines for immediate consumption.  Also grown in Barcelona for the production of Cava, a sparkling wine. And grown in the Languedob-Roussillon region of France. 

Xarel-lo (shah-REHL-loh) - From Catalonia in northeastern Spain. Widely planted but best known for its use in the production of Cava.