Lesser Known Red Grapes & Wines


Agiorgitiko  (Ah yor yee’ ti ko)  is a fragrant red wine grape native to the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece. It is one of the country’s most widely planted wine grapes. Agiorgitiko is the only variety permitted in the Nemea appellation and grows well that hot Mediterranean climate. It is a remarkably versatile grape, and is used to make everything from light rosé wines to rich, full-bodied red wines with dark fruit flavors and plush tannins. Barrel maturation in a range of local and imported woods is increasingly used in Greece. The best wines made from this grape are from higher-altitude vineyards of Nemea which allows full ripeness of flavor with enough acidity and structure to keep the wine balanced. At lower altitudes, and with less care taken, Agiorgitiko wines can be flabby and uninspiring, lacking in acidity and character. Fuller bodied versions are rich and refined with aromas of red and black fruits, herbs and spice, followed by rich fruit flavors of plum, red cherry and blackberry, along with spicy pepper and oaky notes.

Drink most of these wines within a few years of release, but the biggest wines can age for up to ten years.

Agiorgitiko means “St George’s Grape“, and is probably named for a chapel near Nemea. Agiorgitiko is also called; Aghiorghitiko, Agiorgitieo, Mavro Nemeas, Mavroudi, Nemeas, Saint-George. Common food pairings for Agiorgitiko include; veal stew with onions (stifatho), green-peppercorn steak with rosemary butter and baked vegetables stuffed with lamb.

Alicante Bouscher

Alicante is a rare Teinturier red skinned grape variety a grape with red flesh. Its deep color makes it useful for blending with otherwise light red wines. Its intense red color was also useful for stretching the wine during prohibition, in the US, as it could be substantially diluted without detracting from the color. The grape was first cultivated in France in 1866 by Henri Bouschet as a cross of Petit Bouschet and Grenache. Widely planted across the Alentejo wine region in Portugal today, it is frequently eclipsing more expensive noble varieties. These top-end wines are prized for their body, dense color and phenolic content. In Chile, the grape is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and to make concentrated varietal wines. In California, the grape is still grown today in Napa and Sonoma counties. Other areas with notable Alicante Bouschet plantings include Algeria, Israel and parts of central and southern Italy.


Argaman is a red Israeli variety.. It is a cross between Souzoa, the Portuguese variety, and Carignan. The first Argaman wine was launched as recently as the early 1990s. It was a grape bred for color and blending, and was not considered very distinguished.


Arinarnoa is a French red wine grape variety, bred in 1956 in Bordeaux. DNA research has revealed it to be a crossing of the Pyrenean grape variety Tannat with Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s  wines made are naturally deep in color and firmly structured. Grown mainly in the south of France for the Vin de Pays/IGP designations of the Languedoc and Provence. It has spread as far as South America, where varietal examples are made in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. This grape was recently approved for plantings in Bordeaux.


Baga is red grape variety grown in the central coast of Portugal,  especially the Bairrada DO in the Beiras, and neighboring Dão and Ribatejo appellations. It is also a permitted in the Douro where it is known as Tinta da Bairrada. Baga grapes have thick skins in proportion to the size of their small berries. It yields tannic, astringent wines with naturally high acidity levels. A dry, warm growing season is required to get Baga berries to full phenolic ripeness. Baga vines are high yielding, which makes them an attractive for bulk, or lower-quality wine production .  A large proportion of Portugal’s Baga crop is used in Mateus Rosé, the popular medium-sweet rosé.


Bittuni is a red grape indigenous to Judean Hills – Bethlehem, Israel.  It producers wines which are light color, have a low level of alcohol (12%) and a miniscule presence of tannins. It is a pleasant and easy to drink wine. ​But Bittuni, it was quite a find. It is reported to the lightness and freshness of a Gamay and the perfume reminiscent of a Pinot Noir or Grenache.


Blaufrankisch (aka Lemberger (Germany) aka Kékfrankos (Hungary)) is a red wine grape grown widely in AustriaHungary, and somewhat in Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia and in the United States, most notably in New York’s Finger Lakes but also in various parts of Washington, California, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Colorado. Blaufrankisch is the second most popular red-wine variety in Austria behind Zweigelt. It has an important role in Hungary’s most famous red wine, Egri Bikaver, known as Bull’s Blood.

Its wines which are typically intensely colored, medium-bodied reds with brooding, black-fruit flavors and a hint of peppery spice fruit-forward profile with aromas of spiced black cherries typically rich in tannin and may have a pronounced spicy character.

In Württemberg Germany the best classified wines are labeled “GG” for Grosses Gewächs the equivalent of French “Gran Cru”.


Bobal is a red dark-skinned wine grape variety native to southeast Spain. It is one of Spain’s most planted grape varietal.  Bobal wines are dense and chewy with characters of chocolate and dried berries. Outside Spain, Bobal is grown in small amounts in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France and the Italian island of Sardinia, where it is known as Bovale or Nieddera. Its name is derived from the Latin word bovale meaning “bull” and refers to the resemblance the grape bunches have to a bull’s head. High levels of acidity in the grape make Bobal a versatile variety. it is used to make deeply colored rosé wines and has even been used to produce sparkling wine.

Bonarda/Charbono/Deuce Noir

Bonarda (aka  Charbono, aka Douce Noir) (not the same grape as Bonarda from Italy) produces fruity, smooth red wines. It was originally from the Savoie region in eastern France. It was known as Corbeau de Savoie in its native France, and as Douce Noire (sweet black) in Savoie.  It is now planted in Napa Valley but is most important in Argentina (Bonarda), where it is second only to Malbec in size of plantings. The variety’s wines are generally medium bodied with high acidity and berry fruit aromas with some smoky characteristics.  It is most notable for its high acidity accompanied by rich fruit complexity, structured tannins and some sweet notes of spice.

Argentinian Bonarda wines are usually made for early consumption while Californian Charbono wines are richer and can usually benefit from bottle aging.

Cabernet Pfeffer

Cabernet Pfefferis planted in tiny quantities in California. It is thought to be a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and another unknown variety (maybe Trousseau), and it is thought to have been bred in Los Altos Hills, California, in the late 19th Century, by orchardist and winemaker William Pfeffer. Only a small handful of Californian producers are known to make wine from this grape, most of them located in San Benito, a wine region at the southern end of the Santa Cruz mountains.

Varietal examples of Cabernet Pfeffer exhibit bright, red-fruit characters such as cherries, a hint of bitterness and plenty of black pepper and spice. These wines are lighter than those of their parent Cabernet Sauvignon, but retain much of its famous tannic structure.

To complicate matters even further, Cabernet Pfeffer is thought to be either identical to or frequently confused for Gros Verdot, an obscure variety native to Bordeaux. Localized DNA profiling has confirmed the two are identical in certain vineyards but this has yet to account for the majority of Cabernet Pfeffer plantings.

Other studies have found that certain Cabernet Pfeffer vines are, in fact, the even more obscure French Mourtaou grape variety.


Caladoc is a red French wine grape planted primarily in the southern wine regions such as the Languedoc. The grape is a crossing of Grenache and Malbec. It is officially not permitted in any AOC wines, several winemakers in southern France (most notably the Languedoc and Provence) have experimented with the variety in red vin de pays blends. Outside France there are limited plantings in Lebanon, Bulgaria, Russia, Uruguay, Portugal  and Israel. Caladoc grapes have high phenolic levels that produce wines with significant tannins levels and dark red colors. The grape can create aromas in wines, similar to the fruity and spicy aromas as its parents.


Canaiolo (aka Canaiolo nero, aka Uva Canina) is a red Italian wine grape grown most noted in Tuscany. Together with Sangiovese and Colorino it is often used to create Chianti wine and is an important but secondary component of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Part of its popularity may have been the grape’s ability to partially dry out without rotting for use in the governo method of prolonging fermentation.

Castelão/Periquita/João de Santarém

Castelão, (aka Periquita, aka João de Santarém) is a red wine grape found primarily in the southern coastal regions but is grown all over Portugal. The name is derived from the Portuguese term for parakeet. It produces a wine that can be harshly tannic in its youth but softens as it ages. In the Algarve wine region, it is often blended with Negra Mole to produce a wine with less aging potential but less harsh in its youth. Castelão also is sometimes used in Port wine production.


Castets grape is a French red wine grape variety which is very rare and exclusive in the world. This grape variety is a very minor grape variety found in the region of Pyreneen in France, but this grape was recently approved for plantings in Bordeaux.

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is the newest DOC of the central Italian region, Abruzzo. Created in October 2010, the title covers the cherry-red, brightly lighter, vibrant style flavored wines and which are also lower in formerly labeled as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo.

The wines are made almost exclusively from the Montepulciano variety. DOC laws permit other grape varieties to account for no more than 15 percent of the Cerasuolo blend.

The legally defined Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo wine production covers communes in all four provinces in Abruzzo: Chieti, L’Aquila, Pescara and Teramo.

Cesanese Comune

Cesanese is a red grape variety used to make red wine in Italy’s Lazio wine region. The most notable source is Cesanese del Piglio a DOCG for red wine, sometimes referred to just as Piglio. The wines must be at least 90 percent Cesanese grapes with the remaining 10 percent any of the other permitted grapes of Lazio. This includes white varieties which can be used to enhance aroma and modify acidity. A Cesanese del Piglio Superiore must reach an alcohol level of 13 percent and be aged for 18 months before release. A Superiore Riserva must reach 14 percent. It must be matured for at least 20 months, of which six must be in bottle. The dry red wines are renowned for their spicy and unique aromatic nature, velvety elegance, concentration and ability to age. Wineries may also make dolce and abboccato versions. Cesanese del Piglio was granted full DOCG status, confirming its historic reputation as the “king of wines“. It was named as such by Popes Innocenzo III and Bonifacio VIII in the Middle Ages.


Chambourcin is a redFrenchAmerican hybrid grape that is more readily available in the United States (Virginia) and Australia than in its homeland, France. It is one of the world’s most popular hybrid varieties, and is noted for its distinctive dark coloring and aromatically herbaceous aroma. Chambourcin  is also a “teinturier” grape, meaning that its juice is pink or red instead of clear like most other red  grapes. It produces a wine that is typically high in acidity with modest tannins and strong flavors that can be complemented with the addition of oak aging. Its flavors often include black cherry, red fruit, herbaceous notes, black pepper, and even chocolate. Chambourcin can be a single varietal wine or used in blends as it is often produced in Australia where it is blended with Shiraz. It can make easy to drink, entry level wines with commercial attractiveness.

The grape has only been available since 1963 but it has a good resistance to fungal disease.


Ciliegiolo is a red wine grape from Italy, named after the Italian for “cherry”. It is a minor component of traditional blends such as Chianti. In Umbria it is made into a light quaffing wine, while in Tuscany it is made into a bigger, more structured style. It is used in the wines from Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Parrina, Colli Lucchesi, Chianti, Val di Cornia, Golfo del Tigullio and Colli di Luni and is also grown in Sicily.


Clinton is a red hybrid grape. Its phylloxera resistance led to its being planted in small amounts in the eastern Alps. It imparts a pronounced foxiness and dark red color to wine made from its juice. Clinton is a spontaneous cross between the North American species Vitis riparia and Vitis labrusca. It first discovered in New York State by Hugh White in 1835. After phylloxera arrived in Europe, it was planted in northern Italy, Switzerland and Austria. It is also grown surreptitiously in the Cevennes region of France being an unauthorized varietal for French wine.


Colorino is an obscure Italian red skinned grape variety from Tuscany. As the name suggests, its main use is as a blending ingredient to add color to wines. As well as being deeply pigmented, Colorino’s small berries have elevated tannin levels. Aromatically, the variety is somewhat muted. During the 1990s, Colorino became very popular with producers for “correcting” the lighter-hued Sangiovese-based wines of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, but this is not currently widely practiced. Although more commonly used as a blending component, Colorino is sometimes made as a varietal wine, most often under the generic IGT Toscana designation.


Cornalin  (aka Rouge du Pays) old red variety from Valais (Switzerland) was renamed Cornalin in 1972. This was clearly a premonition, as DNA tests revealed it was in fact a natural cross between two varieties from Valle d’Aosta, Petit Rouge and Mayolet. Originally from Valle d’Aosta, it was probably introduced into the Valais region a very long time ago via the Great St Bernard Pass, while it has disappeared from its valley of origin. On the edge of extinction in Valais, it was saved by a handful of enthusiasts in the 1970s, so successfully that it has now become the symbolic red wine grape of the Valais region, where it is exclusively grown. Cornalin produces colorful, fruity and juicy wines, with silky tannins and a pleasant bitterness.

Corot Noir

Corot noir is a red hybrid grape variety. It was developed by grape breeder Bruce Reisch at the Cornell University New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Corot noir is the result of a cross between hybrids Seyve Villard 18-307 and Steuben in 1970. It ripens mid-season to late-season, and according to Reisch, its wines are free of the hybrid aromas typical of many other red hybrid grapes, and can be used for varietal wine production or for blending. The distinctive red wine has a deep red color and attractive berry and cherry fruit aromas.


Counoise is a dark-skinned red wine grape grown primarily in the Southern Rhône Valley, Provence and Languedoc regions of France. It is also grown in California and Washington State. It adds brambly peppery and spicy notes of anise, licorice and extra acidity to a blended red wine, but does not have much depth of color, tannin or alcohol potential. It  also adds flavors of plums and wild berries. Counoise is one of the grapes permitted into the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. But it is used sparingly with usually less than about 5% of it in their blends. In Provence it is used in Rose production.

Crete Red Wines

Red Cretan red wine blends are made from indigenous varieties such as Kotsifali, Mandilari and Liatiko, often along with other classical wine grape varieties such as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet to. The grapevine has seen around 4,000 years of systematic cultivation in Crete. The Cretan wine industry has only recently shifted to high-quality production, after decades of turning out bulk quantities of highly oxidized wine. Over the last decade, Cretan wine has had new an emphasis on both quality and the preservation of indigenous varieties.


Croatina (aka Bonarda) is a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Oltrepò Pavese region of Lombardy and in the Province of Piacenza within Emilia Romagna, but also in parts of Piedmont and the Veneto. In the Oltrepò Pavese, in the hills of Piacenza, in Cisterna d’Asti and San Damiano d’Asti (Province of Asti), and in Roero this variety is called ‘Bonarda’. It should not, however be confused with the Bonarda piemontese, which is an unrelated grape. In the Piedmont region, it is sometimes blended with Nebbiolo in the wines of Gattinara and Ghemme. Croatina has characteristics similar to the Dolcetto grape in that it tends to produce fruity, deeply colored wines that are mildly tannic and can benefit from bottle aging. Croatina may also be employed as a very minor part of a blend, as is the case with some examples of Amarone.

Dão Region Red Wine Blends

Dão is one of Portugal’s most prominent red wine regions, located just south of the famous Douro Valley. The top Dão wines are now some of the most highly rated in Europe. The finest wines today are deep reds blends made from Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Nacional. The Dão, has granite soil that produces wines that are driven by minerality and structure. The best examples firm tannins that allows them to age for 10–15 years or more.


Dornfelder is one of Germany’s most popular man made red grapes. It was developed in the 1950’s in Württemberg. Dornfelder is very versatile grape that can be made into youthful, fresh, light-bodied, fruit forward red wine or more austere fairly full body profile framed by oak and aged. Highly pigmented with thick black skins, it has intense color and higher acidity. Originally it was used as a key blending grape to amplify color in Germany’s paler red wines, today is often a standalone variety. Flavors of black fruit dominate, along with remarkable floral characteristics, medium to full-bodied, oak-aged versions add warm baking spice flavors.

Egri Bikavér

Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood of Eger) is a blended red wine produced in Eger, Hungary. It is very representative of the red wines of Eger, a terroir wine, which carries the flavor of the soils of local production sites.


Enantio a red grape was previously known as Lambrusco a Folglia Frastagliata (jagged-leaf Lambrusco), is  grown in southern Trentino, Italy. It is mainly used in the Valdadige Terradeiforti DOC where it can be made into either still or lightly sparkling wine, displaying a bright ruby color and distinctive notes of spice and fruit, particularly raspberries and red cherries.

Enantio is it is closely related to other regional stalwarts like Lagrein and Teroldego. The variety is high-yielding and fairly disease resistant; it thrives in the area’s sandier soils.

Varitals of Enantio show the variety’s high acidity and deep color, and are fashioned in a drink-now style. The wines can be aged in oak, which enhances the spicy characters of the wine, or left unoaked, making a lighter, more fruit-driven wine.
Synonyms include: Lambrusco a Folglia Frastagliata, Lambrusco Nostrano.

Food matches for Enantio include Smoked ricotta cheese (ricotta affumicata)

Fer Servadou

Fer Servadou is an indigenous red wine grape from Southwest France. Aka Braucol in the Gallac region and aka Mansois in Marcillac region. Creates structured, complex wines often used in blends.


Freisa is a red Italian red wine grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy, primarily in Monferrato and in the Langhe, but also further north in the provinces of Turin and Biella. Freisa is the wild and more rustic relative of one of the world’s greatest wine grapes, Nebbiolo. This would explain their similarities, from the light ruby hue of their wines, to high tannins and acidity which lend to the wine’s ability to age. It is an ancient variety found in Italy’s northwestern region of Piedmont. Some people believe give Freisa 10-12 years and it’s almost indistinguishable to Nebbiolo. Like Nebbiolo, it is capable of producing a mesmerizingly perfumed wine of great structure, and is almost always a varietal wine.


Frontenac is a red hybrid grape that yields a dry wine with a deep garnet color and aromas of cherry and other red fruits with a palate of blackberry, black currant, plum. This grape is grown in Vermont.

Information courtesy of Vermont Fresh Network.


Gaglioppo is a red wine grape that is grown in southern Italy, primarily around Calabria.  Cirò on the southern coast of Calabria is its best known DOC and Gaglioppo is the signature grape variety. It is a late ripening grape varietal that, depending on the altitude and soil type it is planted, is capable of yielding wines of varying personality and styles. But the grape typically produces wine that is full-bodied, high in alcohol and tannins with a need for considerable time in the bottle for it to soften in character. But when made well, it yields seductively perfumed reds relatively light in color but with a lot of ripe fruit distinctive rose-scented nose as well as massively fruity palate.  It is likely that Gaglioppo is a crossing of Sangiovese and another unidentified, grape variety. But it tastes nothing like Sangiovese, however, being generally lower in both acidity and  higher in tannin. In the Savuto D.O.C.  its wines can express the grape’s more sensitive side producing a leaner, floral style with plenty of acidity and an earthy character and finish. Gaglioppo is also thought to be same varietal as Marche’s Lacrima di Morro, a grape grown in the D.O.P. of Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, with distinct aroma of violets. Gaglioppo is a parent of the Frappato variety; there is a genetic link with the Aleatico variety.


Gamaret is a Swiss variety of red wine grape. It is a crossing of Gamay and Reichensteiner. Its wine are dark purple wine with aromas of blackberries and spices and has moderate tannins.


Graciano is a Spanish red wine grape that is grown primarily in Rioja. Its wines are deep red in color, strong aroma and can age very well. It thrives in warm, arid climates. In Spain, the grape produces low yields, but it’s a key component of Gran Reservas in Rioja and Navarra, contributing structure and aging potential. While primarily used as a blending partner, some Rioja bodegas produce varietal wines.

In France, the grape is grown in Languedoc-Roussillon as Morrastel or Courouillade. In the USA it is also grown in Oregon and Washington. In California, Graciano is sometimes known as Xeres. In Australia, it is used either in blends with Tempranillo or as varietal wines. The grape is also grown in Argentina.

Greco Nero

Greco Nero is the red skinned variant of Greco Bianco found predominantly in Calabria, southern Italy. The variety is most commonly blended with Gaglioppo in a number of Calabria’s DOC wines. The name is derives, from the word’s use throughout the Middle Ages to describe age worthy wines high in alcohol and sugar. The Bivongi, Campidano di Terralba, Lamezia, Melissa and Terre di Cosenza DOCs all allow the use of Greco Nero in various proportions. These wines, usually blended with Gaglioppo, are usually characterized by flavors of plum, cherry and black fruit. They tend to be smooth and intensely fruity, with cinnamon and clove notes peppering the finish.

Surprisingly, the most famous wine bearing the Greco name – that being the Greco di Tufo DOCG – does not specify the Greco grape is to be used.


Grignolino is a red grape variety from two appellations in the Northwest region of Piedmonte Italy. In Asti, named Grignolino d”Asti and Monferrato. It produces a wine light in color, very fruity aromas of red berries and fresh alpine herbs, light body,  strong acidity and  assertive tannins. The name derives from the word grignole which means “many pips” in the local Piedmontese dialect of the Asti region. The abundance of pips, or seeds, contribute to the strong, bitter tannins of  the varietal wine. Modern winemaker try to avoid the excess tannins with gentle pressings.

Humagne Rouge

Humagne Rouge is a red grape variety originally from the Aosta Valley, but which is now found mainly in the Valais region of Switzerland. Otherwise known as “Cornalin d’Aoste”, it is sometimes confused with Cornalin du Valais (aka. Rouge du Pays or simply “Cornalin” in Switzerland).

Humagne Rouge wines, have pronounced tannins, are often very rustic and earthy when produced in a more savory style. Dark cherries are the most common fruit flavor identified in its wines, often with a spiciness that adds complexity to the wine.


Jacquez is a red hybrid grape variety that originates from the North America. The derivation of this grape is not clear and is hotly debated. It is probably a natural cross between the American species Vitis aestivalis and Vitis cinerea, and possibly an unknown European Vitis vinifera. It is grown surreptitiously in the Cevennes region of France being an unauthorized varietal for French wine.


Kadarka or Cadarca or Gamza is a red skinned variety of grape with has a long history and is popular in Romania and Bulgaria It used to be an important constituent of the Hungarian red cuvée Bull’s Blood of Eger or Szekszárd, but has long been in decline in Hungarian plantations, to be replaced by Kékfrankos and Portugieser.  Its wines are full, easily recognizable taste, deep aroma and dark or medium dark color. Kadarka is often used for blends including some of the Egri Bikavérs, and also for production of table wines.

Kalecik Karasi

Kalecik Karasi (sometimes abbreviated to “KK”) is a red Turkish grape variety used in the production of light to medium bodied red wines. This grape and wine are named from its origin area, the Kalecik district of Ankara Province, Turkey. These are often regarded as the country’s finest. The wine is ruby-red in color with distinctive purple highlights. It is occasionally likened to Pinot Noir, due to its spectrum of red fruit flavors but has slightly rougher tannins. Some producers compensate for this by using plenty of new oak aging.

Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio (Rosso/Rosato)

Lacryma Christi (Rosso & Rosato) are made from red Piedirosso grapes grapes  indigenous to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, in Italy and has been produced since Ancient Roman times in the 5th century BC. The vines which cover the slopes of Mount Vesuvius are directly descended from the Aminei of Thessaly, brought to Italy from  ancient Greece.

The name Lacryma Christi has its roots in a number of legends, the most repeated of which is that of Lucifer, who took with him a piece of heaven when he was cast out. When Christ saw Italy’s Gulf of Naples, he recognized it as this stolen piece and wept over the loss; it is said that vines of Lacryma Christi sprang miraculously from the earth where his tears fell.

The Rosso wines are salmon colored of varying intensity with aromas of pleasant, with fruity notes and are dry and balanced. They have a minimum abv of 12% and a versatile wine which pairs well with fish, white meat, and risotto.


Limnio is a variety of red wine grape which is of Greek origin. It is indigenous to the Greek island of Lemnos. It is commonly used in blended wines that are produced in the region, with other grape varieties such as Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Xynomavro, Merlot, Grenache, Petite, Cinsaut as well as Aghiorgitiko. It is grown mainly in the Greek regions of Halkidiki Peninsula, located in Greek Macedonia and in the Rapsani area which is located in Thessalia. This grape variety is mostly considered to be a hardy grape variety that ripens pretty late and entertain a strong drought resistance.

This grape variety entertains a very ancient origin. Limnio is said to have originated on the Aegean Island of Limnos. Surprisingly, the production and cultivation of the vines of this grape variety are not seen in this region today. In such mentions, this grape variety was referred to as Limnia, a very significant grape variety that was primarily used as to the production of the special wines of the island of Limnos. Its synonyms include Limnia, Lemnia, Limniona, Liminino, Mavro, Kalabaki and Kalambaki.

Considered as an excellent grape variety which is used in the production of both blending as well as varietal wines. This grape ripen pretty late and has the ability to thrive under various harsh conditions of life. It can produce wines of high alcohol level and full bodied. These wines have herby taste along with a note of bay leafs.

The varietal wines produced are moderate in color and elegant in aroma and flavor. They are dominated by aromatic and fresh herbs along with the flavors of elegant red berry fruits. Acidity levels in them is medium, and the tannins are very silky. They offer interesting flavors, structure as well as brightness.

All the wines produced pair best with the food with pasta dishes and mild yellow cheese, eggplant, vegetable salads.

Malvasia Nera

Malvasia Nera (aka Black Malvasia) is a group of the red dark skinned members of the greater Malvasia grape family. Malvasia Nera grape is an aromatic, thin-skinned variety that can be used for dry, sparkling and sweet wines, as well as specialty passito and rosé styles. The juice will range in color from light to a deep ruby-red, producing wines that are light-to-medium bodied with flavors of cherries and plums. It is more frequently blended with other grapes than produced as a varietal wine. The best varietals of Malvasia Nera wines are the two Piedmont DOCs, Malvasia di Casorzo and Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco.


Marquette is a red Pinot Noir hybrid that produces complex red wines with a ruby color. It has flavors of cherry, blackberries, pepper, and spice. This grape is grown in Vermont.

Information courtesy of Vermont Fresh Network


Marselan is a red wine grape. It is crossing between Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was bred in 1961 by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Marseillan, France after which the grape is named. The highly regarded grape is now found in small production across the globe from China to Uruguay with its original home firmly in the Languedoc and Provence regions of Southern France. Wines made from Marselan are medium-bodied with fine tannins, good color, and flavors of cherry and cassis.

It is now permitted as a blender in Cotes du Rhone wines. It is also found in China, near Beijing. It is also found in parts of northern Spain, namely Penedes and Catalonia. It was recently accepted as a candidate for use in Bordeaux’s wines. Great Food matches for Marselan include; roasted shoulder of lamb with garlic and rosemary, pork and black bean stew and lightly spiced vegetable and lentil stew.


Marzemino is an Italian late-ripening, red wine grape grown mainly in Trentino-Alto Adige but also in the Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. Rarely used for varietal wine, but is instead typically blended with the Sangiovese, Barbera and Merlot, notably in the wines of the Capriano del Colle and Botticino DOCs. It has grassy, herbal elements and sour-cherry flavors but given a sufficiently ripeness can produce refreshing, berry-scented wines.


Meunier (aka Pinot Meunier, aka Schwarzriesling) is a variety of red grape most noted for being one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne (the other two are the red variety Pinot noir and the white Chardonnay). Pinot Meunier is gaining recognition for the body and richness it contributes to Champagne. Pinot Meunier is approximately one-third of all the grapes planted in Champagne. It is a mutation of Pinot and gets its name and synonyms (French Meunier and German Müller—both meaning miller) from flour-like dusty white down on the underside of its leaves which derives from large numbers of fine white hairs on the leaves.

Pinot Meunier is one of the most widely planted grapes in France but it is rather obscure to most wine drinkers and will rarely be seen on a wine label. The grape has been favored by vine growers in northern France due to its ability to bud and ripen more reliably than Pinot noir. makeing it less susceptible to developing a disease coulure. It is most prevalent in the cooler, north facing vineyards of the Vallee de la Marne and in the Aisne department. It is also widely grown in the Aube region in vineyards where Pinot noir and Chardonnay would not fully ripen.

Compared to Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier produces lighter colored wines with slightly higher acid levels but can maintain similar sugar and alcohol levels. As part of a standard Champagne blend, Pinot Meunier contributes aromatics and fruity flavors to the wine. Champagnes with a substantial proportion of Pinot Meunier tend not to have as much significant aging potential as Champagnes that are composed primarily of Chardonnay or Pinot noir. It is therefore most commonly used for Champagnes that are intended to be consumed young, when the soft, plushy fruit of the Pinot Meunier is at its peak. A notable exception is the Champagne house of Krug which makes liberal use of Pinot Meunier in its long-lived prestige cuvees.


Mission is a red grape and produces, a light-colored but deceptively big red wine usually with a disconnect between its light appearance and the hefty weight. It typically has aromas of red cherries, rose petal and often cigar box. On the palate tastes rustic, tarry and thick, with a core flavor of juicy strawberry and blueberry . It was brought to the U.S., via Mexico, from Spain (aka Listán Prieto) in the 1620s. Mission earned its American name from its proliferation at the Franciscan Missions throughout California, where it was mainly used for sacramental wines. Not known for making great wines it’s now somewhat back in fashion in some California wine regions.


Mondeuse noire is a red French wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Savoy region of eastern France. The grape can also be found in Argentina, Australia, California, Switzerland and Sicily. In Savoie, Mondeuse noire is used in blending with Gamay, Pinot noir and Poulsard where it contributes its dark color and high acid levels to the wine that allow the wines to age well.


Moreto is a red Portuguese wine that is planted primarily in the Alentejo region and makes mostly very neutral wines.


Négrette is an indigenous red wine grape from Southwest France. It produces aromatic and fruity easy drinking wines and rosés mostly from the Fronton region.

Nero di Troia

Nero di Troia (aka Uva di Troia) is a red Italian grape varity. It is the third most important of Puglia’s native red grapes after Negroamaro and Primitivo. It has its ideal terroir to grow in the province of Foggia and in the northern part of the province of Bari.  The “canosina” variety with smaller berries and looser clusters is probably the older version of the variety, less productive and nowadays less common. However, it is “canosina” which receives more attention from research aimed at producing wines of a higher quality. Nero di Troia wine has a lively color and an elegantly fresh bouquet with typical hints of violets; it is not particularly acidic, but is rich in polyphenols and especially tannins, which may become overpowering if the wine comes from grapes which are not perfectly ripe.


Noiret is a hybrid red grape variety that was created for the colder climes of the northeastern United States. First bred in 1973, the grape was only released for commercial viticulture in 2006, and has since been planted in vineyards in New York (mostly Finger Lakes AVA), OhioVirginiaTennessee and New Hampshire. Noiret wines are usually quite herbaceous and fruit driven with soft tannins.

Noiret wines are deeply colored, and are particularly good for blending with Vitis vinifera varieties as they are generally free of the “foxy” character that can plague other hybrids. It’s often blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot adding additional tannin structure.

Suggested food pairings include: Steak with peppercorn sauce, Spicy jambalaya and Beef rending.

Source: Wine Folly


Norton (aka Cynthiana) is a red skinned hybrid grape variety found throughout the northeast of the United States. Norton wines are deep purple color,  medium- to full-bodied with red fruit  flavors and medium to high acidity levels. It’s varietal flavors include black currant, black cherry, plums, chocolate, dill, and some pepper. It’s tannin structure ranges from silky smooth to rough. It is more commercially attractive than other native American vines such as Vitis labrusca because it lacks the “foxy” characteristics that many native American grapes add to wine.

It has high levels of resveratrol, a compound found in grapes that is thought to be good for heart health. Many producers utilize malolactic fermentation to soften the harsh malic acids in this wine, and some have even used to carbonic maceration. It’s common to blend it with other red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon to add and accentuate flavors and structure.

It was originally cultivated by Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton in Richmond, VA in the early 19th century as a cross between Vitis vinifera and the American Vitis aestivalis vine and is the oldest American cultivar used for commercial production. The Norton vine ripens late is resistant to some disease, and is able to withstand colder temperatures than most Vitis vinifera vines.

During prohibition many Norton vineyards were replaced with concord grape plantings and production of the grape stopped. It was not until 1989 when Dennis Horton founded Horton Vineyards in Virginia and planted more Norton vineyards, that the wine became important in the modern wine industry. Norton is now grown predominantly in Virginia, but is also found in Kansas, Missouri and Texas. The largest Norton plantings in the world are located at Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, VA.

Norton wines pair best with heavier, gamier meats, e.g. Venison and smoked meats.


Pelaverga (aka Pelaverga Piccolo) is a rare red grape from the hills of Piedmont in Northwestern Italy. It is also known by many other names, including Carola, Cari, Fra Germano and Taddone. Pelaverga has two last declining regions of production in the Verduno Pelaverga and Colline Saluzzesi DOCs of Piedmont’s Cuneo province. Here it is used to make pale-colored wines with a distinctive strawberry aroma often common at the fruitier, more fragrant end of the Pinot Noir wine spectrum. These are also often made as sparkling wines and reveal an alternative, rather light-hearted side of Piedmontese wine. Pelaverga pairs well with foods such as Prosciutto and melon, grilled chicken salad with strawberries and balsamic vinegar and beef carpaccio.

Pelaverga Gross

Pelaverga Grosso is a red grape from Langhe Italy. There are two different Pelaverga grape varieties: the Pelaverga Piccolo and the Pelaverga Grosso. The former variety grows in the territory of the town of Verduno and is used to make the wine called Verduno Pelaverga (Verduno is mostly famous because it is one of only eleven communes allowed to make Barolo). By contrast, the latter variety grows in the Salluzzese area of Piedmont (which is only a couple of hours by car to the east of the Langhe from where Verduno is situated) and is used to make a completely different wine called Cari. Pelaverga Piccolo grape is a semi-aromatic variety, while Pelaverga Grosso is not; it also tends to give bigger wines with more structure but less perfume than Pelaverga Piccolo. And the Salluzzese area is generally colder and rainier than the part of the Langhe in which Verduno is found. So remember: Pelaverga Piccolo is the grape, and Verduno Pelaverga is its wine; Pelaverga Grosso is another, different grape, and it gives the wine called Cari.


Persan is a red French wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Savoie region. While the name hints at a Persian origins for the grape, it is most likely native to the Rhône-Alpes region with the name “Persan” being a corruption of the synonym “Princens” which is also the name of a small hamlet by Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in Savoie which has been noted since the 17th century for the quality of its vineyards. Persan is known as an early budding, mid-ripening vine that produces small bunches of tiny berries. It can be very vigorous and usually needs to be pruned heavily in order to maintain reasonable yields. The vines seems to thrive particularly well on stony, calcareous soils with the main viticultural hazard being a susceptibility to powdery and downy mildew.

Petite Pearl

Petite Pearl is a hybrid red grape that has qualities of spice and jammy fruits. It is also blended with other northern reds to add softness. This grape is grown in Vermont.

Information courtesy of Vermont Fresh Network


Piedirosso is an ancient, red grape variety found throughout Campania, Italy. Today it’s predominantly as a blending partner for Aglianico and Olivella. Piedirosso means “red feet” in Italian, and is named as such because the stem is made up of three branches and is russet colored making the vine resemble a dove’s foot. Single-variety wines made from Piedirosso tend to be deep ruby in color and full bodied with soft tannins. Typical flavors in these wines include plum, cherry and brambly wild berry fruit. More complex characteristics such as espresso, mushroom and damp earth are exhibited in the better examples.

A minerally, almost salty characteristic can be found in many Piedirosso wines. This can in part be attributed to the volcanic soils in which the grape thrives. The grape is grown in a number of DOC areas in Campania, however, blends containing Piedirosso are far more common than single-variety wines.

Perhaps the best-known wines majoring on Piedirosso are the Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio red and rosé wines. The variety is seen to bring softness and complexity to wines such as Aglianico that might otherwise be too intense as a single variety. Piedirosso is occasionally used in passito, the Italian style of vin de paille (straw wine). This is a sweet wine made from dried grapes.


Pignolo is a red grape native to Friuli, in the northeast of Italy. It has a long-standing reputation for producing deep-colored and high-quality wine. It is now enjoying a renaissance in Italy, making wines that are tannic, brooding and rich, with blackberry and plum flavors.
Pignolo wines are strong and structured, with plump tannins and balanced acidity. The variety has an affinity for oak, and wines are often aged for 24 months or more in barrel before being released, and can age for many years.

The variety is included in few DOC-level appellations, the main one being the Colli Orientali del Fruili DOC where varietal Pignolo wines are permitted. Many examples are also made under the regional IGT title.

The word pignolo means “fussy” in Italian, and the pigno suffix means pinecone, referring to the shape of the bunches. Synonyms include: Duracino, Ochialina, Pignol, Pignola Valtellinese, Pignuola, Robola, Schiettarola.

Great Food matches for Pignolo include:  Roasted Lamb with pancetta, traditional t-bone steak and Wild boar ragu.

Pineau d’Aunis

Pineau d’Aunis is a rare red wine grape variety used mostly in rosés and light reds of the central Loire valley of France. It is valued for the gently peppery spiciness it adds to the area’s rosé wines, a role mirrored by the Carignan and Tibouren used to make the famous rosé wines of Provence. In warmer years it is capable of producing fuller distinctive and interesting red wines. It is also used in the wines of the Anjou and Saumur, for both dry reds and sparkling wines (both blanc and rosé). The Saumur-Champigny appellation also uses the grape, although it is limited to a 30 percent in the wines otherwise dominated by Cabernet Franc. The wines of Cheverny and of the Coteaux du Loir and du Vendomois also make of it. Its modern blending partners are Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cot (Malbec) and Grolleau.


Pinotage is a red grape that is South Africa’s signature variety. It was bred there in 1925 as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. It typically produces deep red wines with smoky, bramble and earthy flavors, sometimes with notes of bananas and tropical fruit, but has been criticized for sometimes smelling of burnt rubber. But there are some stellar producers of a varietal wine made from Pinotage in California, e.g. J Wines & Loma Prieta.

Plavac Mali

Plavac Mali is a well-known red wine grape in its homeland of Croatia. It is one of Croatia’s most planted varieties.
It is known for producing dense and robust reds with black cherry flavors and notes of pepper, smoke and spice. They are often quite high in alcohol (rich) and tannins, and have excellent aging capabilities.

Most plantings can be found on the Dalmatian Coast, particularly on the Peljesac Peninsula, where the appellations of Postup and Dingac provide the best-known examples of Plavac Mali wines. The variety’s name comes from the appearance of the grapes: mali means small, while plavac – a prefix given to several Croatian varieties – refers to the blue color of the berries. These are small and thick-skinned with high sugar concentration, giving structured, tannic wines that are sometimes produced with a little residual sugar to provide a softening effect.

It was first thought to be genetically identical to the widespread Californian variety Zinfandel. It turned out that the varieties were not identical, but related, and further testing revealed that Plavac Mali was the offspring of Zinfandel (its other parent being Dobricic, an ancient variety native to Croatia).

Food pairings for Plavac Mali wines include: Braised peppers stuffed with beef, Oxtail stew and Croatian sausage kebab.


Blauer Portugieser is a red Austrian, Slovenian and German wine grape found primarily in the Rheinhessen, Pfalz and wine regions of Lower Austria and Slovenia. It is also one of the permitted grapes in the Hungarian wine Egri Bikavér. This fruitful, early-ripening grape yields mild and light wines. Portugieser is the third most planted grape in Germany.


Poulsard is an ancient red-skinned grape variety that is a specialty of Arbois in the northern Jura region of France. It is a thin skinned variety and the red wines it produces are very pale are often mistaken as rosé.  Even white wine (Blanc de Noir) can be made from it by limiting skin contact. Its wine have very delicate aromas. It is even used to make sparkling wines. It is commonly blended with Gamay, Pinot Noir and Trousseau.

The grape is very fragile, buds early and is at serious risk from spring frosts, and is also susceptible to mildew, coulure and sunburn.

Suggested foods parings include; Morel mushrooms in a white sauce, fried crab with tamarind sauce and lamb dishes.


Pugnitello is an ancient and rare red grape variety native to Tuscany in the north of Italy. Pugnitello means “little fist” in Italian and refers to the vine’s small, tight bunches of berries, which resemble a fist. It shares many characteristics with Montepulciano and it was previously thought that they were the same variety, however, DNA profiling has proven that they are different.

It is a thick-skinned grapes in small bunches and was naturally low yielding. It produces intensely colored wines it produces, with plump tannins and good acid. A small number of producers in Tuscany planted the grape and are now producing mostly single-varietal wines under the IGT Toscana classification. These are deep purple red in color and show a complex mix of sweet and savory aromas such as cherry and blackberry, with tanned leather and earth. Pugnitello wines tend to be on the fuller side.

Great food pairings for Pugnitello include: Tuscan-style roast pork, Mushrooms stuffed with pancetta and Swedish-style meatballs with chutney.

Rapsani Red Blends

The Greek Rapsani wine zone is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Olympus, the highest Greek mountain in northern part of the country. Traditionally, the PDO Rapsani dry red blend includes 3 indigenous red grape varieties; Xinomavro, Krassato, Stavroto (Ambelakiotiko) with approximately 1/3 each. Wines which have been aged for 2 years, spending a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels and 6 months in the bottle, are entitled to include the term “Selected” or “Réserve” on their label. If the aging period is 4 years or more, with at least 18 months in oak barrels and 18 months in the bottle, the wines can be indicated as “Specially Selected” or “Grande Réserve”.

Red Moscato

Red Moscato wine is  most often an Italian red. The vast majority of the members of the Muscat family are dark skinned grapes, but most of the major varieties used in wine production are white or “pale skinned”, with the one significant exception of Muscat of Hamburg, which is also known as Black Muscat. Red Moscato is a sweet red wine with juicy ripe raspberry, strawberry and nectarine flavors. This often frizzante (slightly bubbly) wine finishes sweet, yet with balanced acidity and a creamy mouth-feel. It pairs well chilled with brisket, barbeque, pizza, chocolate or simply on its own.


Refosco (aka Teran) is one of Italy’s most under-celebrated red grapes. It offers rich flavors and freshness  and a relatively low alcohol red.  The name comes from the combination of ‘rasp’ and ‘fosco’ that in the Venetian and Friuli dialects mean respectively grape and dark.  The Refosco wines from Italy’s Colli Orientali D.O.C. are often rated at the best examples. Genetically, it’s also the father of the Veneto’s Corvina grape used to make Amarone. This medium weight wine reveals blackberry and black cherry fruit on the nose and palate with fine, firm tannins on a long finish.  The traditional wines produced from this varietal can be quite powerful and high in tannins, with a deep violet color and a slight bitterness on the finish. On the palate, ripe black currants, wild berries and dark plum flavors.  Well-made Refosco wines can age well, and after a period of up to 10 years, and can develop a floral character to the aroma and finish.  Teran, is the Slovene name for the Refosco grape family.


Regent is a red hybrid grape of Diana and Chambourcin created in 1967 at the Geilweilerhof Research Centre (D), it was named in reference to the famous “Regent” diamond (140.5 carats) found in India. This inter-specific variety is very early and highly resistant to cold and fungal disease, suited to the northern regions. In Switzerland, it is particularly found in the cantons of Zurich and Schaffhouse where it produces generous wines with silky tannins.


Rondo is a red-skinned  hybrid variety that performs very strongly in cold climates. Rondo was first bred in the former Czechoslovakia in 1964, before it was further developed and cultivated at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute in Germany. As well as its ability to reliably ripen, Rondo is also well regarded because it is highly resistant to diseases and produces good-quality, full-bodied, deep red wines. Mainly grown in Germany (notably the Rheinhessen and Rheingau regions), the variety is also grown in England, the NetherlandsDenmark and Sweden.


Rossese di Dolceacqua

The Rossese di Dolceacqua is a red wine made with the Rossese grape. The production area is made up of 14 communes distributed along the Val Nervia and Valle Crosia, in LiguriaItaly, precisely the “riviera di ponente, west of Genoa. The grapes allowed  must be at least 95% of rossese with the remaining 5% of other non-aromatic native red grapes. The Rossese di Dolceacqua, also known simply as Dolceacqua, is fruity red wine, elegant, with a light color and lively acidity, medium bodied and with no tannins unless wood aged.

Ruby Cabernet

Ruby Cabernet is a red grape variety that is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan, developed by a University of California, Davis scientist Dr. Olmo at in 1936 before being released in 1948. The grape is primarily used in blending, adding color and tartness, but producers such as E & J Gallo Winery have produced varietal wines from the grape. According to wine expert Jancis Robinson, Ruby Cabernet can have some aromas reminiscent of a young Cabernet Sauvignon with the color of a Carignan but it lacks the structure and body to produce premium wines. In California, the variety is widely planted in the Central Valley where it can withstand the hot continental climate of the valley. Outside of California, the variety can also be found in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Israel and South Africa. It can produce wines with good color and a pleasant cherry flavor, but is mostly blended into bulk wines.

These grapes does not possess the distinctive flavor and the overall structure of other types of Cabernet wines, but it does carry their fruitful essence. The grape for this type of red wine was developed for California’s hot climate, especially for regions such as the San Joaquin and the Napa Valleys.


Ruché is a red Italian grape from the Piedmont region. It is largely used in making Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato , a small production red varietal wine which was granted Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOCG) status by presidential decree on October 22, 1987, and was granted the more prestigious Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status in 2010. It is a very small production area and one of the lowest production varietal wines in Italy.  It has been grown in the area for at least one hundred years but has only recently been marketed and consumed outside of the immediate vicinity of its production. Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato tends to be medium bodied with notes of pepper and wild berries and floral aromas. The wine is often characterized by moderate acidity and soft tannins. In the Piedmont region it is often paired with slow-cooked beef, northern Italian cheeses and mushrooms.

Saint Macaire

Saint Macaire is a rare red grape originally grown on the right bank of the River Garonne, south of Bordeaux and is named for the medieval town of Saint Macaire. It’s makes a soft red wine which was very popular especially with the English in the 12th century, who at the time were in control of much of Aquitaine region of France including Bordeaux. It was used in several of the big Bordeaux house’s wines until its demise from the plague. It has since resurfaced in California on Howell Mountain and in Australia where the Westend Winery makes a 100% Saint Macaire wine.

San Martino

San Martino is name of two Italian grapes with that same name, one white and one red. The red one is a new breeding between Chatus (Nebbiolo di Dronero) x Dolcetto. Synonyms are Dalmasso 7-21, Incrocio Dalmasso VII/21 and S. Martino. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2009, the breeding list entry Nebbiolo x Dolcetto was wrong. The cross was made in 1936 in Conegliano (Veneto) by the breeder Giovanni Dalmasso (1886-1974). Incidentally, the same parents also produced the new varieties Passau and Valentino Nero. The variety is cultivated in Piedmont. In 2016, 6 hectares of vines were reported with a falling trend (Kym Anderson).

The white grape variety is a new cross between Pirovano 57 (Bicane x Poete Matabon) x Zibibbo (Muscat d’Alexandrie). Synonyms are Pirovano 215 and S. Martino. The cross was made in Rome in 1923 by the breeder Alberto Piròvano (1884-1973). No commercial prodcution was recorded in 2016 (Kym Anderson).

St. Croix

St. Croix is a red hybrid grape which produces a deep, sometimes smoky red wine with low tannins. The flavor profile includes currant and other dried fruits. This grape is grown in Vermont.

Information courtesy of Vermont Fresh Network

St. Laurent

St. Laurent is a red grape variety which likely originated from in Austria. This small berried vine yields cherry flavored wines that have been compared to a deeper colored, beefier version of Pinot Noir. Its lighter body and notable, yet soft tannins pairs well with richly flavored foods such as roast duck, mushroom risotto and cured meats.

Sannio Red Wines

Sannio is a hilly area north of Naples, in the heart of the Campania region, south-west Italy. Sannio gained its DOC status in 1997.
Wineries here use ancient red  varieties in their wines. These include Aglianico, Coda di Volpe, Piedirosso and Sciascinoso.

“Standard” Sannio Rosso and Rosato must include at least 50 percent of the Sangiovese wine grape.

Red and rosé wines may also be made from a combination of Aglianico and Piedirosso. The named variety must account for 85 percent of the composition.

Varietal Sannio Spumante or Metodo Classico may be made from any of the varieties allowed for varietal still wine. A spumante or metodo classico without a grape designation, whether white or rosé, must contain at least 70 percent Aglianico, with Falanghina taking care of the balance.

Sannio subregions
Several subregions may include their name on a Sannio wine label. These are:
– Sannio Guardia Sanframondi (also known as Sannio Guardiolo)
– Sannio Sant’Agata dei Goti
– Sannio Solopaca (plus Sannio Solopaca Superiore)
– Sannio Taburno

The Aglianico del Taburno DOC has existed since 1986, and as a DOCG since 2011. Other wines from the Taburno zone, including passito, spumante and novello bottlings, come under the Sannio Taburno title.

Source: Wine-Searcher


Saperavi is a (teinturier) red grape variety native to the country of Georgia, where it is used to make many of the region’s most well-known wines. It is also grown in Russia, in lesser quantities in Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Australia. Some small plantations are found in the Niagara and Finger Lakes regions of New York State and Northeast Ohio. The berries are medium to large, elliptic or round depending on the type, dark bluish, and thin-skinned; Saperavi in Georgian literally means “paint, dye, give color”.

Its wines are usually moderate in alcoholic strength ranging from 10.5 to 12.5% and with higher titrated acidity 5-7%. Saperavi grapes produce very deep red wines that are suitable for extended aging. It has the potential with extended ripening to produce high alcohol levels, and is often blended with lighter varieties. It is by far the most dominant Georgian red grape in terms of overall production.

Saperavi is a hardy variety, known for its ability to handle extremely cold weather and is popular for growing in high altitude and inland regions such as Kakheti. It is a teinturier grape, containing the red anthocyanin within the grape pulp as well as the skin and is unusual in being one of very few such grapes used in single-varietal winemaking.


Trollinger (aka Schiava, aka Vernatsch) is a red German/Italian wine grape that was likely first originally cultivated in the wine regions of Alto Adige and Trentino Italy, but today is mostly cultivated on steep, sunny locations in the Württemberg wine region of Baden-Württemberg Germany. It is primarily known under the synonyms Trollinger in Germany, Vernatsch in South Tyrol and Schiava in other Italian regions. Trollinger grapes have moderate acidity and tend to produce light bodied wines with fruity strawberry and subtle smoky notes.  In Alto Adige it’s a combination of Pinot Noir-elegance and tart Barbera acidity with unique savory qualities. Light in color, deceptively concentrated, and Beaujolais-like, it can be served chilled and goes with anything and everything. You might see it also labeled as Vernatsch or Edel Vernatsch (remember the German influence). The best Schiava-based wines are from the Santa Maddalena DOC where they are blended with a maximum 10% Lagrein.

​Source: Tim Gaiser MS


Schioppettino is a red-skinned grape variety native to Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the far northeastern corner of Italy. Most Schioppettino wines are medium-bodied, deeply-colored, aromatic on the nose (violets and red berries) and spicy to the palate (peppery, earthy). Schioppettino is most often produced as a dry red wine, but can also be made into sparkling spumante versions, a local specialty of Friuli. Outside Italy, Schioppettino is almost entirely unknown. However a tiny patch of Schioppettino vines (less than an acre) is planted in California’s Russian River Valley. They belong to the Holdredge Family, who use the grapes most often for blending into other wines, but occasionally to produce varietal Schioppettino wines.

Sousão/ Souzao/Tinto Nacional / Vinhão

Sousão (aka Souzao aka Tinto Nacional) is a red wine grape that is mostly recognized for its use in the production of port wines but is also used as to make dry table wines. It’s a dark-skinned red wine grape originally from the Iberian Peninsula.  It is also responsible for the production of various red Vinho Verde wines. It hails mostly from the Port region of Portugal and is considered as one of the most sought after wines in that particular region. While originating in the regions of Minho, it’s primarily grown in California, Australia, South Africs, Galicia Spain as well as Douro. It is also known as Tinto Nacional, Souson, Tinto Antigo, Negrao, NegraoPe de Perdiz, Espadeiro da Tinta, EspadeiroPreto, EspadeiroBasto, Tinto da Parada, Sousao and Pinta Femea.

The wines produced from this grape are deeply colored and considered to be very coarse and raisiny in taste. But, this grape grows both in white as well as red colors. Its wines have a good level of acidity and the potential for high alcohol level. They are low in tannins and satiny smooth in texture. These wines are commonly paired with the food items such as grilled sardines, chicken in spicy tomato sauce, and steak sandwiches with caramelized onions.


Stanushina is a red wine grape of Macedonia. It originates from the Tikves wine district. It almost became extinct. Today, Stanushina finally receives the attention it deserved. Well grown, it creates dark blue colored grapes and can produce high quality red wines. The cluster is of medium size, cylindrical shape and usually without wings. The berry is round and medium-sized, dark blue, with tiny rusty spots, around which the unwaxed rings are formed. It is highly resistant to drought but the grapes require special attention and serious commitment. In a good vintage, it can produce a wine with light average abv of 11 to 12 percent alcohol. The color of the wine made of Stanushina is characteristically pale, but it has a rich extract and high acidity which give the wine freshness. The wine has an intense aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and the red fruity notes are best enjoyed when the wine is consumed young at 45° to 50° F.


Teroldego is a deeply colored red wine grape grown mostly in the mountainous Trentino wine region of northern Italy where it is the main dark-skinned variety. This variety produces deeply pigmented red wines with an intensely fruity character. It is soft and needs very little aging, usually being drunk within three years of bottling, though it can cellar well for up to 10 years.

In blends, it adds color, and is planted in Tuscany, Sicily and the Veneto mainly for this purpose. There is also a small amount grown in Australia, California and Brazil. There is just one DOC for varietal Teroldego wines: Teroldego Rotaliano. Teroldego is an ancient grape variety, and has been cultivated in Italy for hundreds of years. Teroldego is a parent of Lagrein, and Syrah.

Great Food pairings for Teroldego wines include:  cured meats and dishes that include bacon, spaghetti carbonara, Boeuf bourguignon, Coq au Vin and Roasted game with wild rice would also work beautifully.


Terret is an ancient Vitis vinifera grape  vine that, mutated over the course of thousands of years into grape varieties of several colors but mostly known for its red variety. It originated and still grows in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.


Tibouren is a red skinned grape variety grown in Provence, southern France. It is mainly used for producing full-bodied rosé wines with an earthy bouquet. It is usually blended with varieties such as Grenache and Cinsaut to produce the rosés of the Provencal regions, but some producers make a varietal wine with the grape. Those wines are said to have aromas that are floral and berry-like, and distinctive a earthiness.

Tinta Barroca

Tinta Barroca (aka Tinta Barocca) is one of the most common red-wine varieties in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. It is used most often to make Port, an application to which it is particularly well suited, as the grapes’ naturally high sugar levels (and correspondingly high alcohol) make them extremely useful for fortified wine production.

Tinta Barroca it is the third most widely planted variety in the Douro after Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo).

Although it doesn’t produce varietal wines of any distinction, it excels as a blending component. There are just a few of single-variety Tinta Barroca wines produced in the world, a majority of them in South Africa. Intense, super-ripe, high-alcohol Tinta Barroca has evolved into something of a trademark style for some vineyards of the Western Cape.

Ref: Wine Searcher

Tinta Francisca

Tinta Francisca is a red wine grape found primarily in the Douro DOC in Portugal and is sometimes used in Port wine production. The grape is often confused with the similarly named Touriga Francesa. There are some theories that the grape may be related to Pinot noir but no ampelographical link has yet been discovered between the two varieties. The grape is known for its sweet perfume but has less concentration than other Port grapes.

Touriga Femea

Touriga Femea is a red Portuguese grape variety identical physically to Touriga Nacional, but is less full bodied but equally aromatic. It is considered by the Portuguese more feminine and therefore named literally “female Touriga”.


Tinta Amarela aka Trincadeira is a red wine grape that is commonly used in Port wine production. The grape is noted for its dark coloring. It is grown principally in the Douro, Dao and Alentejo wine regions of Portugal. The vine is susceptible to rot and performs better in dry, hot climates. Its varietal wines range from dry to sweet.


Trousseau is a red wine grape originally from Jura, northeastern France, but found in northwestern Spain (aka Merenzao and Verdejo Negro) and various parts of Portugal (aka Bastard). Varietal wines a deep, rich & inky cherry-red color and flavors of dark red berries and other forest fruits and tend to be high in alcohol.

In Portugal, Bastardo is grown in the Douro, and slightly further south in the Dao and Bairrada regions. It is one of the many varieties permitted in the production of Port, although grown in small quantities so as not really to be well known as a main Port grape variety.


Valdiguié is a red wine grape  which makes soft and vibrant  easy drinking fruity wines somewhat much like lighter Pinot Noir. It often has flavors of candied licorice, dried raspberry, and cedar and vanilla spice  with some of black cherry, ripe pomegranate, and tones of nutmeg. It is grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, where it is generally known by the alias Gros Auxerrois. In California it has been known as Napa Gamay. Until 1980 Napa Gamay was believed to be the Gamay of Beaujolais, but following genetic analysis the name Napa Gamay has been banned from U.S. wine labels since January 1999. Confusingly, both the Pinot noir clone Gamay Beaujolais and Napa Gamay could be labelled “Gamay Beaujolais”, name was banned from labels on April 2007.


Vernatsch (from the Latin “vernaculus” meaning “native”) is one of the oldest native red wine grapes in South Tyrol Italy, where it has probably been cultivated since the 16th century. Even longer than that, for over two thousand years in fact, vines have been a characteristic feature of the landscape in the southern part of South Tyrol. Written records expressing praise for the wines of Bozen go all the way back to the Middle Ages. In those days, the wine estates largely belonged to South German monasteries and the nobility.

In the modern period, trade increased and the wine growers on their smallholdings also benefitted and became more and more independent. In those days the wines from today’s St. Magdalener area were considered “the most prized wines in Southern Tyrol”.


Vespolina is a rare Italian red wine grape grown in the Piedmonte and Lombardy region. It has Nebbiolo’s spicy characteristics, although its tannins tend to be softer. As a result, Vespolina is used to help mellow youthful Nebbiolo-based wines and lift the blend’s aromatics with hints of wild flowers, mushrooms and green tea leaves.


Vranac (aka Vranec) is a Balkan red variety grape.  The word Vranec means strong, black and powerful horse (black stallion). Its wines are also known also as “black wine” in Macedonia. It has been grown for a long time in Montenegro, and it also can be found in Dalmacija, Herzegovina. In Macedonia it’s the most important and leading variety for red wine production. Its wines are recognized by its intensive color and a high content of anthocyanin. The grape is suitable for blending Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is also known as Gradesh and Black Stanushina. Young wines have a lighter purple color, with an aroma of strawberry jam and wild berries and firm tannins structure with potential to ripen in oak barrels. When the oak aged it provides complex aromas of dry fruit and cocoa. This wine has complex aromas of wild berries, rich tannins,  and chocolate. The unique growing conditions on the Vardar River Valley region, give an opportunity for full expression of the variety. Vranec wines pair well with red meat, game, barbeque and smoked meats.


Wildbacher, also called Blauer Wildbacher is a red variety of grape that comes from Steiermark (also known Styria) located in the south of Austria. The Wildbacher varietal of red wine is also produced in other areas of Austria like Innsbruck and Salzburg. It is grown and harvested also in the sub-regions of Weststeiermark, which is the western part of Styria.  Steiermark is a region that comes under the area of Slovenia. Blauer Wildbacher is also used for blending purposes in Veneto, region of Italy.


Zanelo is red grape variety that comes from Italy. Synonyms are Bonarda Viretta, Zane and Zanetto. The parentage (parenthood) is unknown. There is also nothing known about a possible relationship to one of the Bonarda varieties.

Zulal Areni

Zulal Areni is a red grape from Armenia. It makes aromatic wines with notes of red cherries, plums and notes of pepper. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, with refreshing acidity and concentrated flavors of berries and spices.


Zweigelt is a red wine grape variety which was developed in Austria. It was a cross between St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch grapes. It is now the most widely grown in Austria with some plantings in Washington State, Canada, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Zweigelt wines have an exotic spice and floral character, predominantly aromas of cinnamon and violets, that made them distinctive. The variety brings slightly violet-reddish coloured wines with soft tannins. Mature, full-bodied and long-living wines deliver tones of Morello cherry. High-quality wines are produced both in stainless steel as well as in barrique. Zweigelt is also known as Rotburger, Zweigeltrebe, and Blauer.