The most important grape varieties for making quality red wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon: this world famous grape variety is often blended with other varieties like Cabernet Franc & Merlot, especially in the Bordeaux region. It is a grape with a thick and dark skin, which results in a delicious, dark red wine with a wonderful harmony between its fruity taste and its refined woody notes.
Merlot: this grape forms the basis of the great red wines of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol and produces wonderful fruit aromas. It is grown on a large scale in southern France, where the name Merlot adorns the labels of the country wines. Pure Merlot has a soft, fruity taste, a dark, lively colour and fine aromas.
Cabernet Franc: This variety grows mainly in the Bordeaux region, but is almost always in the minority compared to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This variety also dominates the Loire vineyards of Touraine whose wines such as Saumur, Bourgeuil and Chinon are primarily Cabernet Franc.
Pinot Noir: difficult to grow, fascinating to taste, that is Pinot Noir, the grape of the great red Burgundy wines. Outside Burgundy, Pinot Noir is used to make great wines in Champagne, where it is always blended with Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. This elegant grape is cultivated all over the world and e.g. in California a wide range of Pinot Noir quality wines are produced.
Syrah: the grape of the great Rhone wines, including Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, and a component of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here, the wines are deep in colour with spicy aromas of dark fruit. Australia, for example, has enthusiastically adopted Syrah, as it was one of the first grapes to be planted there.
Sangiovese: is the most common wine grape in Italy. Sangiovese is used in the delicious Brunello di Montalcino and is an important component of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Sangiovese is a grape that ripens beautifully and slowly in warm areas and offers wines with full, juicy flavours.
Tempranillo: is the main grape for the quality Spanish red wines, such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Tempranillo gives wines with brilliant colour, soft and fruity flavours with aromas of freshly picked cherries, plums and with a refined spiciness of vanilla.