Grape Varieties

From Aghiorghitiko to Zinfandel, find out all you need to know about vitis vinifera with decanter.com’s A to Z of grape varieties

Zinfandel (red)

Zinfandel (red)

Responsible for the blush wine craze of the late 1980s, Zinfandel is a near-native grape of California, where at its best, it produces powerfully-constructed, brambly, spicy reds for the most…

Xinomavro (red)

Xinomavro (red)

Xinomavro is, quite possibly, the greatest of Greece's red grapes and, quite definitely, a wine lover's wine.

Xarel-lo (white)

Xarel-lo (white)

Earthy, undistinguished Catalan variety normally used as a blender in cava along with Parellada and Macabeo.

Welschriesling (white)

Welschriesling (white)

The 'poor man's Riesling', Welschriesling is actually not related to the superior Rhine Riesling of Germany at all. It is at its best in Austria, where it can make sumptuously…

Viognier (white)

Viognier (white)

The 'hottest' of the Rhône Valley trio, which includes Marsanne and Roussanne, Viognier is one of those relatively rare varieties which have been 'discovered' and now everyone wants a slice…

Vernaccia di San Gimignano (white)

Vernaccia di San Gimignano (white)

This dry white variety's main claim to fame is that it's grown around the picturesque, turreted medieval town of San Gimignano, where it occasionally justifies its promotion to DOCG status.

Vermentino (white)

Vermentino (white)

Distinctively perfumed Mediterranean white with good acid retention grown in Italy mainly in Sardinia and Liguria, and known in Provence, Languedoc and Corsica as Rolle.

Verdelho (white)

Verdelho (white)

Portuguese variety grown in Madeira where it makes a fortified style between Sercial and Bual and grown as a still wine grape in Australia, especially Western Australia.

Verdicchio (white)

Verdicchio (white)

High quality grape from the eponymous DOC in the Marche region of Italy with good body and faintly spicy flavours. Best examples from the Jesi zone.

Verdejo (white)

Verdejo (white)

One of Spain's higher quality white varieties grown around Rueda where it is sometimes blended with Sauvignon Blanc to add body and richness to Sauvignon's aromatic lift.

Ugni-Blanc (white)

Ugni-Blanc (white)

Known as Trebbiano and Saint Emilion, a grape grown extensively in France - mainly used in Cognac and Gascony - as well as Italy and the New World.

Trebbiano (white)

Trebbiano (white)

The most widely planted white variety in Italy, quantity does not however bring quality in its wake.

Touriga Nacional (red)

Touriga Nacional (red)

Although not widely known as a varietal, this rare, small-berried, dark-skinned Portuguese variety is nevertheless the highest quality grape that goes into the Douro Valley melting pot.

Touriga Francesa (red)

Touriga Francesa (red)

This scented red is one of the five main grape varieties grown in the Douro Valley to make port and also good in the Trás-os-Montes region of Portugal.

Torrontes (white)

Torrontes (white)

Fragrant, grapey, Muscat-like Spanish variety common in Argentina, to which it may have been originally transported from Galicia.

Tocai Friulano (white)

Tocai Friulano (white)

No relation to the Hungary's Tokaji or Alsace's tokay Pinot gris, tocai friulano, also known as Sauvignon vert or Sauvignonasse, is at its best in the hills of Friuli, where…

Tinto Cao (red)

Tinto Cao (red)

One of the rarest, high quality port grapes grown in the Douro Valley, highly prized for its spicy character.

Tinta Barroca (red)

Tinta Barroca (red)

This is a robust Portuguese variety used as a blender in port but also popular in South Africa and known in Australia too.

Teroldego (red)

Teroldego (red)

A red variety from Trentino, aka Teroldego Rotaliano, which is deep-hued and capable of producing lively, juicy, Italian Beaujolais-style reds.

Tempranillo (red)

Tempranillo (red)

Spain's most important quality red variety, forming the backbone of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, where it's known as Tinto Fino (other synonyms include Ull de Llebre, Tinta del Pais,…