7 Grape Varieties that You Should Know About 

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Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

At first glance, a glass of red or white wine may just be the wine for the untrained eye. However, wine has a lot of varietals that everyone should know. Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Riesling, etc. are all well-known grape varieties good for producing wines. 

Most of the time, wine connoisseurs have tasted almost every wine varietal there is to taste. However, the world is simply a vast place, where some experienced tastes might not have seen, smelled, and tasted unique wine varietals.

Numerous grape varieties produce excellent wine, and some might not be familiar with those varieties. Though not as elegant sounding as the other grapes mentioned earlier, these wines are great tasting and can satisfy the curiosity of those interested in sampling them. Here are some unique wine varietals that you may not have heard about yet:

Muscat Bailey A

When it comes to wine, Asian countries such as Japan often don’t ring a bell. However, a winery in the Niigata prefecture was able to cross Muscat of Hamburg with bailey. The winery’s owner, Kawakami Zenbei, primarily aimed at cultivating a grape variety that could withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Niigata prefecture. The result was the Muscat Bailey A.

Muscat Bailey A is a light-bodied wine, low in tannins and acid. It also has a bold, slightly sweet fruity flavor. With recent developments, wineries have been able to produce drier, full-bodied wines. 

Petit Manseng

Petit Manseng is an American grape variety that comes from Richmond, Virginia. The soil in the state is perfect for growing Petit Manseng. This grape variety often has a full, thick skin, and is smaller compared to other grape varieties. When ripe, the grapes turn into a straw-colored yellow. 

Petit Manseng Wine has a unique flavor to it. Some would say that wine is often complicated and highly acidic. It also has a spicy aftertaste to it. As it ages, honey and fruits become more evident in its flavor profile.

Boğazkere

This dark-skinned grape variety is indigenous to Turkey and is known as the “throat burner” for some of the locals. Although it’s literal translation isn’t appealing to be a good wine varietal, Boğazkere produces wines that have a dense, high concentration of tannins in them. Boğazkere is known for its unique aromas of pine, cloves, licorice, and blueberries.

Gorgollasa

On the brink of extinction, farmers in Spain have been able to bring back Gorgollasa seemingly back from the dead. The variety was fully recognized in 2011, with several wineries harvesting the fruit for winemaking. The grapes are well suited for barrel aging and produce wines that have an unexpected freshness, low tannins, low acidity, and moderate alcohol. 

Just like Bolgheri wines, which are often made with blends, Gorgollasa is also used as a blend to create wines. Those who cultivated and tasted this grape variety often tell that the grapes closely resemble Pinot Noir.

Agiorgitiko

This grape variety is native to Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula. Although most people haven’t heard about this variety, Agiorgitiko is one of the country’s most planted grapes. The grapes strongly adapt to the hot Mediterranean weather. 

Agiorgitiko can produce flabby, low acid, wines if not made properly. However, when done correctly, most wine tasters immediately notice the spiciness of the wine. It also has unique fruity flavors, as well. Aside from creating wine varietals of its own, Agiorgitiko perfectly blends with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Torrontés

Wines made from this Argentinian grape variety is often dry and smells sweet. The white wine also has high acidity. Those who drink varietals made from Torrontés also notice a unique peachy or apricot aroma together with its mild spiciness. 

Most wine aficionados like to draw a comparison between Torrontés wines and Gewürtztraminer. The Torrontés grape variety is the most grown in Argentina. 

Chardonnay

Although Chardonnay is a typical grape variety used for wine, we included it in this list because this grape variety is used to make a special kind of wine. Most wines are often red, yellow, white, or even pink. Enter Blue Wine. It’s sweetened using an artificial sweetener. Major producers of this wine are Gïk; which was the first one to sell blue wine, and Vindigo, a French company founded by René Le Bail.

Since this wine is relatively new, there’s a lot of hype and mystery surrounding it. The blue color doesn’t come from artificial dye but actually comes from natural substances, namely, the indigo from the Woad plant, and anthocyanin from the grape skin. Most blue wine drinkers compare it to Moscato.

Takeaway

Grape Varieties from all over the world produce varietal wines that can satisfy the tastes and curiosity of connoisseurs. Although Italy, Australia, France, and the United States are the top producers of wines, the grapes found in countries such as Turkey, Japan, Argentina, etc. often create exotic and delicious wines.