Varietal

by Cindy Barnett | June 05, 2012

Varietal means that a wine is produced from one variety of grape and carries the name of that grape.

American winemakers began labeling their wine according to the grape variety they were made from. This process was in contrast to the European winemaker’s custom of naming their wines after the place or location where they were produced. Wine consumers tend to know that the type of grape from which wines are fermented will help in determining the basic flavor characteristics, aroma and taste of the finished wine. As a result, wines of high standing are often associated with a single grape variety, referred to as a "varietal", especially in America.

Varietal describes wines made chiefly from one variety of grape. These types of wine reveal the dominant characteristics or the primary grape used. Among the popular varietals are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.

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