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ABC of grape varieties

Have you seen Mondovino’s wine glossary yet? From A for Arneis to Z for Zweigelt, you’ll find a selection of famous and lesser-known varieties from winegrowing regions all over the world. Have fun browsing our ABC of grape varieties.

Popular grape varieties

Discover the world’s grape varieties at Mondovino

As well as these top grapes there are plenty more internationally acclaimed varieties: click through to the articles on individual varieties to learn more about them. If you discover a wine that piques your interest you can place an order directly online. Or you can also buy our wines in Coop stores too.

So how many grape varieties are there in the world?

Most people are familiar with only a handful of grape varieties, which is not surprising since the same ones tend to be found in stores and repeatedly mentioned in the media. This is because they are the most important ones on the international market and are widely planted. However, there are also countless lesser-known grape varieties so estimates vary widely as to how many different types of grapes and wines there are in the world. An oft-quoted figure is 10,000. At first glance this seems a lot, but the majority of grape varieties are not used to produce wine at all, such as trial grapes or ones that are scarcely used commercially. Once the criterion of economic importance is applied, the number of major grape varieties drops to a few hundred.
The world’s top 5 grape varietiesTo kick off we present 5 varieties that are internationally among the most popular and well-known, but of course there are also many more that are major-league players in the world of wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is currently one of the most famous and important grape varieties. It is used to produce dark red wines, either as single varietals or in blends. Originally from Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is now grown all over the world – for example in Chile, California and South Africa. Brimming with tannins, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are dry yet intensely fruity.Shiraz – better known as Syrah in Europe – is another major red wine grape. Thanks to its intense, bittersweet and peppery berrylike flavours, wines produced from this grape are highly distinctive. The Shiraz grape originated in France’s Rhône Valley.Every fan of red wine will surely have tasted a Merlot at some point – a wine favoured by aficionados and wine-newbies alike. Wines vinified from Merlot grapes tend to be lower in acidity and therefore not bitter. Merlot is grown everywhere in the world and produces mouth-filling red wines.When it comes to white wines, Chardonnay is one of the most famous. This variety tends to polarize opinion, however. You may have heard of the wine buff’s expression “ABC” – “Anything But Chardonnay”. Yet the Chardonnay grape is actually very versatile. It typically has a soft and slightly nutty flavour.Sauvignon blanc enjoys an excellent reputation in the realm of white wines – it is popular the world over and has become particularly fashionable again in recent years. Its grassy citrus aromas make the taste of Sauvignon blanc unmistakable.

Discover the world’s grape varieties at Mondovino

As well as these top 5 examples there are plenty more internationally acclaimed grape varieties: click through to Mondovino’s articles on individual varieties to learn more about them. If you discover a wine that piques your interest you can place an order directly online. Or you can also buy our wines in Coop stores too.