There are more than 5,000 varieties of grapes used in the production of wine. Of these, close to 200 are farmed on a commercial scale.
Not long ago, only four grapes were known as noble (Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir), but as export markets expanded, the range of classic grapes grew to include Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Merlot and Syrah as well as the original four. You will note that grapes grown in France dominated the classification.
In today’s global economy, though, the number of wines available to us everyday has exploded, and it seems as if each year a new favorite emerges from a formerly humble location. Our grape library will clue you in on a multitude of these varieties, and give you an idea of the history, growing regions and style of the resulting wines, along with a few key words describing aroma and flavor.