Grape varieties

Grapes are a vine fruit.

In order to produce a quality wine, it all begins with the cep,or vine stock, hence the name cépage in French (used to describe the different grape varieties). The vines must be flourishing, average of ten to fifteen years old; they must also be planted in poor soil and benefit from a moderate supply of water (a little rain in autumn and spring, and sun during the summer). The grapes are then harvested once they are well ripened, perfectly healthy and full of sugar: this is the harvest.

Some principal red grape varieties

Grape varieties

Major regions and mainproducing countries

Main characteristics

Pinot noir

France (Bourgogne), California (USA), New Zealand.

Aromas: red fruits, blackcherry, game Average acidity, slightly tannic

Cabernet sauvignon

France (Bordeaux),Australia, California, Chile

Aromas: blackcurrant, blackcherry Strong acidity, tannic


France (Bordeaux, Languedoc), Italy, California

Aromas: red and blackfruits Weak acidity, slightly tannic


France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Vallée du Rhône),Australia

Aromas: violet, blackberry,spices Average acidity, tannic


France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Vallée du Rhône), Spain

Aromas: red fruits, leatherSlightly acidic and slightly tannic

Some principal white wine grapevarieties :

Grape varieties

Major regions and main producing countries

**Main characteristics**


France (Bourgogne,Champagne), California, Australia

Aromas: citrus fruits,butter, mineral Relatively high acidity

Sauvignon blanc

France (Val-de-Loire), New Zealand, California

Aromas: green fruits, stonefruits, vegetables. Strong acidity


France (Alsace), Germany

Aromas: peach, green apple,smoked Strong acidity
Late harvests: dried apricot, honey, almond

Pinot gris

France (Alsace), Germany,Italy

Aromas: honey, musk, spicesWeak acidity


France (Bordeaux,South-West), Australia, Chile

Aromas: citrus fruits,honey, toast, vanilla
More or less acidic according to the wine(Graves, Sauternes)