Additional Lesser Known Red Grapes & Wines


Abbuoto is a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Lazio region of central Italy. The grape is primarily used as a blending variety where it often contributes body, phenolics and high alcohol levels The Abbuoto vine tends to produces large dark colored berries with thick skins. Abbuoto is a permitted grape variety in several Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) regions including the Aprilia DOC where the grape can be produced as a varietal wine provided that the wine is composed of at least 95% of the grape.  Abbuoto is known under a variety of synonyms including Aboto and Cecubo. Piedirosso is believed to be a parent of Abbuoto.


Abrostine is a red grape variety originates from Italy The name means “wild vine”. This medium-ripening vine which produces a colorful, tannin-rich red wine that is also suitable as a Teinturier (colouring wine). It is cultivated in Tuscany, where it is permitted in the Montecarlo DOC wine.

Synonyms include Abrostalo, Abrostine, Abrostine Nero, Abrostino, Abrostolo, Abrostolo Forte, Abrusco Nero, Abrusco Nero di Toscana, Abrusio, Color, Colorino, Lambrusco and Raverusto.


Abrusco is an ancient red wine grape varietal planted mainly in the Tuscany region of Italy, where it plays a blending role in the traditional wines of Chianti. The grape is used to add a deep, dark red color to the traditional Tuscan wines. Abrusco is a rare varietal, being close to extinction on several occasions, and with only approximately 6 hectares of planted vines. Abrusco vines are noted for growing small dark, blue-black berries, which produce wines with a deep, dark color. Which lends itself as an ideal blending grape with other, less intensely colored skin varietals such as Sangiovese. As a varietal, Abrusco tends to produce well-structured wines with a spicy aroma and dark fruit flavors.


Bogazkere is a red wine grape variety indigenous to Turkey. Its name translates as “throat burner” in Turkish It is mainly found in the central area of Anatolia, and its harsh, tannic nature has seen it commonly likened to the Tannat. It’s small berries and thick skins ensure plentiful tannins, although varietal wines tend to lack significant color. Oak aging can help to tame some of the variety’s more rustic characters, as can blending with Gamay, Cinsault and the intensely-fruited Öküzgözü, another native Turkish variety. If made well, Bogazkere can offer drinkers an interesting experience: wines made from the variety have a complex aromatic profile, which includes dark forest fruits, pepper, cloves, tobacco and leather. It’s also called Serabi.


There are two distinct red Italian grape varities: Bovale sardo or Bovaleddu and Bovale di Spagna or Bovali mannu (Bovale grande). Together with Cannonau and Monica, it makes part of the blend for the preparation of wine DOC Mandrolisai. Also in conjunction with the Bovale di Spagna it is used for the DOC Campidano di Terralba or Terralba. The berry is black, medium, sub-oval with a thick, black, very waxy skin. Bovale vine is never vinified alone, but blended with other varieties in the area. Bovale Grande is similar or identical to Carignano, Bovale Sardo to Spain’s Graciano. Sardo is considered the better of the two. Highly tannic and acidic; can produce deeply colored wines. It is predominatly grown in Sardegna, Italy.

Cabernet Dorsa

Cabernet Dorsa is a red wine grape variety most often found in cool-climate winegrowing areas, well in Germany and Switzerland. Cabernet Dorsa is a crossing of Blaufränkisch and Dornfelder. Many tasters have found the vegetal notes of cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon along with the lighter, cherry flavors of Dornfelder in Cabernet Dorsa wines. After fermentation, these wines take a long time to mature and barrel-aging will help this process. Small berries with thick skins mean that the wines have a naturally dark pigment, and Cabernet Dorsa is often used in blends to add color. Synonyms include: WE 71-817-92.Its hardiness and ability to survive cold temperatures has made it an obvious choice for these areas.

Food matches for Cabernet Dorsa include; Corned beef, Grilled bratwurst sausages with mustard and Braised beef short ribs


Callet is red wine grape variety grown on the island of Mallorca (Majorca), in the Balearic Islands off Spain’s Mediterranean coast. It is most commonly used in the production of rosé, where it is traditionally blended with the other indigenous varieties Fogoneu and Manto Negro. In more recent times, Callet has been used to make light-bodied red wines that may be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo or Syrah. Callet is a relatively late-ripening variety. It retains acidity whilst achieving phenolic ripeness, a boon in warmer Mediterranean climates.

Although Callet is deeply colored, it tends to be quite low in alcohol. Varietal Callet wines have soft tannins and sweet raspberry flavors, though they remain uncommon. Callet wine is rarely is it exported outside of Mallorca.

Recommended Food pairings for Callet include; Sobrassada (Mallorcan cured sausage), Chicken livers fried in butter and Mushroom roulade


Diolinoir is a red wine grape found most commonly in the Valais region of Switzerland. It is a crossing of Pinot Noir and a little-seen French variety called Rouge de Diolly. Diolinoir makes a full-bodied, well-structured wine with spicy and earthy notes.  Synonyms include: Dioli Noir, Pully 4-42.

Foca Karasi

Foca Karasi is a red grape variety (also Foca) originates from Turkey. The name means “Black of Foca”, a county in the province of Izmir on the Aegean coast. It yields aromatic red wines. It is cultivated in small quantities around Izmir

Gross Verdot

Gross Verdot is a red grape originally grown in Bordeaux, France. It has all but disappeared from Bordeaux but is still produced in small amounts in Chile, Argentina and in California.

Manto Negro

Manto negro is a red Spanish wine grape variety grown on the Balearic islands. Manto negro is almost exclusively found on the island of According to Manto negro tends to produce lightly colored, soft, light bodied red wines that are often high in alcohol. In Mallorca, the grape is often blended with lower-alcohol and more structured varieties such as Callet though in DOs such as Binissalem-Mallorca.

Manto negro imporves  with oak aging but can be prone to oxidation. Wines made from the grape are often meant to be consumed young and not intended for long cellar aging.

Manto negro has been known under a variety of synonyms including: Cabelis, Cabellis, Mantonegro, Mantuo negro.


Okuzgozu is a red grape variety native to Turkey and grown throughout the vast interior of the Anatolian region. Wine made from it are a bright ruby-colored with red fruit aromas of raspberries and cherries and well as hints of mint. The variety has an excellent acidity and fine tannins. Its name is said to refer to the resemblance of the large, fleshy berries to a bull’s eye. It has been compared to Pinot Noir. It is often blended with another Turkish native Boğazkere to form more powerful wines.

Recommended food pairings for Öküzgözü include; Hunkar Begendi (roasted eggplant puree with meat), Duck noodle soup and Doner kebab with lamb.


Schönburger is a grape variety of German origin that is now found most notably in the wines of southern England. It is a crossing of Pinot Noir and Pirovano 1 (itself a crossing of Chasselas Rosé and Muscat Hamburg) and was first cultivated in 1979. Since then, it has been producing light, grapey wines with delicate floral aromas and commercialised, more often than not, with a touch of residual sweetness.

The pink-skinned grape was, like many German crossings, created to provide winemakers with a disease-resistant, cold-hardy variety that would prosper in Germany’s cold climate. The result, Schönburger, is a thick-skinned