What are the major grape varieties in wines?

If you are into wines, then you know that there are many varieties of grapes that go into making great wine. Wherein there are obviously a great number of subtitles involved, there are also some basics that can be learned.

Here is a list of some of the grapes that make the most exquisite wines in the world.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the main varieties of black grapes in the world. The grape does not always work on its own to produce great wine however. It is mainly grown in order to be blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for the production of Bordeaux. Cabernet Franc wine is lighter as compared to Cabernet Sauvignon as it is a pale, bright red wine with a peppery aroma that adds spice to stronger blends of tobacco, violets, bell pepper, raspberry, and cassis.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Unlike many, this kind of grape grows in diverse climate regions. In the cooler climate, the grape produces wines with subtle hints of cedar, mint, bell pepper (green), and blackcurrant. In areas with moderate climates, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape produces wines with tinges of black olive, black currant, and black cherry. Due to its ability to grow in many regions, the grape can also survive in areas with hot climate where it produces wines with current flavors that have a jammy feel to them.

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is so diverse because it is a cross breed of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet France, and was discovered and grown starting the 17th century in the South Western regions of France.


The Carmenere grape is part of the Cabernet family of grapes. Most wines made from Carmenere are produced currently in Chile. Being one of the six original grapes of Bordeaux, the Carmenere red grape is considered a blending grape utilized by the many experiments being carried out in the growing wine industry of Chile. Experiments are actually ongoing right now to find out what the result of blending Carmenere grapes with Cabernet Sauvignon. Stay tuned!


Chardonnay is a green grape strongly used majorly in the production of white wine. In fact, many sparkling wines all over the world, as well as Champagne, include Chardonnay as one of their key ingredients. Naturally, the grape is neutral, which means that its flavor is enhanced by the kind of landscape and geology from which it is grown as well as oak flavors.

Chardonnay can grow in multiple climate regions, which helps explain why it is used in production of wines and sparkling drinks all over the world. In areas with cool climates, the green grape produces medium to light body wine that has traces of pear, apple, and green plum flavors. In the warmer climatic regions, Chardonnay creates melon, peach, and citrus hints in wines. Hot climatic regions also enjoy the benefits of the grape, which brings out notes of tropical and fig fruits.


The grape is named after a French word, merle, which stands for black bird. Merlot is grown across the world in different regions and is used to produce wines in different styles. The international style of production involves the late harvesting of the grape in order to produce full-bodied wines with high alcohol content. The wine produced under international style is inky and purple in appearance, and comes with intense blackberry and plum fruit flavors.

The other style of production is a Bordeaux style, which is more traditional. The traditional method involves earlier harvesting of the Merlot grape so that the fruit can retain its acidity. The wine produced is then medium bodied and contains more moderate levels of alcohol. Moreover, it comes with subtle vegetal hints to accompany the wine’s rich flavor of red fruits.

Sauvignon Blanc

This is a green type of grape grown and produced in many regions all over the world. Sauvignon Blanc grapes produce white wine that is dry and refreshingly crispy. In fact, popular dessert wines from Barsac and Sauternes contain the Sauvignon Blanc grape as one of their ingredients.

The grape is grown in different climatic regions, and its flavor largely depends on the climate where it is grown. As such, its taste can range anywhere from tropical sweet to a strong grassy flavor. Sauvignon Blanc grapes produce wine that when chilled slightly, pairs well with seafood and cheese too, especially chevre. Interestingly, the wine produced by the grapes is one of the rare wines in the world that pairs perfectly with sushi. Only a few wines can complement the subtly of sushi fish, and you will usually find them living on the same table.