ALBALONGA A Rieslaner x Sylvaner cross developed and grown in Germany
for its naturally high sugar level and early ripening qualities.
ALTESSE The finest of Savoie's traditional varieties, this grape makes delightfully rich and fragrant wines.
Synonyms: Maconnais Roussette
ALVARINHO A Vinho Verde grape, grown in the Minho in Northern Portugal.
ARBOIS An interesting but very localized variety cultivated in the Loire Valley where it is sometimes blended with another obscure grape called the Romorantin.
Synonyms: Menu pineau, Petit pineau, Verdet
ARINTO One of Portugal's potentially excellent white grapes. Grown in the loam soil of the small region of Bucelas, just south of Lisbon.
ASSYRTIKO One of the better-quality indigenous varieties of Greece.
AUXERROIS Often confused with the Pinot blanc, but in fact a totally separate variety this grape is grown most successfully in Alsace and is up-and-coming in England. Its wine is fatter than that of the Pinot blanc and so suits cooler situations.
BACCHUS A (Sylvaner x Riesling) x Muller-Thurgau cross that is one of Germany's more superior crosses. In recent years a considerable acreage has been grown in Germany's Rheinhessen region. It is also grown in England because of its inherently high sugar level and can produce vivacious, fruity wines in both countries.
BLANQUETTE A synonym for the Colombard in the Tarn-et-Garonne departement of France, the Clairette in the Aude departement, and the Ondenc in Bordeaux. More is now grown in Australia than in all of France. Its intrinsically high acidity makes it useful for sparkling wines.
BOUVIER A modest-quality grape variety significantly cultivated in Austria and one which, under its Ranina synonym, produces the "Tiger's Milk" wine of Yugoslavia.
Synonyms: Bouviertraube, Ranina
BUAL The second most sweet of Madeira's four classic grape varieties. It's wine is a sweet style that has a baked smoky complexity. Bual is also be grown in many parts of southern Portugal.
ALIGOTE A thin skinned grape of unexceptional quality grown in Chalonnais (south Burgandy) and Bulgaria. It makes tart wines of moderate alcoholic content, but in exceptionally hot years the wines can have good weight and richness. The variety's best wines come from certain Chalonnais villages, especially Bouzeron, where the quality may be improved by the addition of a little Chardonnay
Synonyms: Blanc de Troyes, Cbaudenet gras, Giboudot
CHASSELAS A modest quality variety that produces the best forgotten Pouilly-sur-Loire wines (not to be confused with Pouilly-Blanc Fume wines of the same area) and is probably at its modest best (and known as the Fendant) in the Valais, Switzerland. The Chasselas is, by all accounts, the most popular table grape in France, but as strange as it might seem, good eating grapes rarely make good wine grapes.
Synonyms: Chardonnay, Chasselas blanc, Chasselas dore, Dorin, Fendant, Fendant blanc, Frauentraube, Golden chasselas, Gutedel, Mosttraube, Royal muscadine, Sussling
CLAIRETTE A sugar-rich, intrinsically flabby grape, best known for its many wines of southern France. It is the Muscat, though, not the Clairette, which is chiefly responsible for the "Clairette de Die" in the Rhone.
Synonyms: Blanquette, Clairette blanc, Clairette blanche, Ondenic
COLOMBARD A grape that produces a thin and acidic wine ideal for the distillation of Armagnac and Cognac. It has adapted well to the hotter wine areas of California and South Africa, where its proficiency allows the production of off-dry inexpensive wines. It is the number one grape variety of California's Central Valley where it is known as French Colombard.
Synonyms: Blanquette, Colombar, Colombier, French Colombard, Guenille, Pied-tendre, Queue-tendre, Queue-verte
CRUCHEN BLANC A widely cultivated variety chat usually but erroneously has the tag of Riesling hung on it.
Synonyms: Cape riesling or Paarl riesling (in South Africa), Clare riesling (in Australia).
DELAWARE An American hybrid of uncertain parentage chat was developed in Frenchtown, New Jersey and propagated in Delaware, Ohio, in the mid-nineteenth century. Although grown in New York State and Brazil, it is far more popular in Japan.
EHRENFELSER A Riesling x Sylvaner cross; one of the best of Germany's new breed of crosses.
ELBLING A variety once held in high esteem in both Germany and France. The major Mosel grape in the nineteenth century. It is now mostly confined to the Obermosel where its very odd, neutral flavor makes it useful for the German Sekt industry. In Alsace it was known as the Knipperle and its former position was such that one of the Grand Cru Guebwiller slopes was named after it.
Synonyms: Alben, Albig Alva ( in Portugal), Briesgaver, Briesgaver riesling, Burger elbling Elben, Gelder ortlieber, Grossriesling Kleinberger, Kleinergelber, Kleiner rauschling, Klein reuschling, Knipperle, Kurztingel (in Austria), Ortlieber, Rauschling Seretonina (in Yugoslavia), Weisser elbling.
EMERALD RIESLING A Muscadelle x Riesling cross, developed for cultivation in California at U. C. Davis, by a Professor Olmo as the sister to his Ruby cabernet cross.
FABER A Weissburgunder x Muller-Thurgau cross grown in Germany where it produces a fruity wine with a light Muscat aroma.
FOLLE BLANCHE Traditionally used for the distillation of Armagnac and Cognac, this grape also produces the Gros plant wine of the Nantais district of the Loire Valley. Gros Plant is normally dry, tart and devoid of fruit and body. If bottled sur lie it can hve sufficient depth to match its inherent bite, much the same as the Nantais district Muscadet.
Synonyms: Camobraque, Chalosse, Enrage, Enrageade, Folle enrageat, Gros plant, Gros plant du Nantais, Picpoul, Picpoule
FORTA A Madeleine Angevine x Sylvaner cross, a little of which is grown in Germany where it produces good quality grapes that are rich in sugar.
FREISAMER A Sylvaner x Pinot gris cross that is grown in Germany and produces a full, neutral, Sylvaner-like wine.
FUME´ BLANC Sauvignon Blanc.
FURMINT A strong and distinctively flavored grape that is the most important variety used to make Tokay in Hungary
GARGANEGA BIANCO An Italian variety that is the principal grape used in the production of Soave, in the Veneto region, which an vary from thin and acidic to rich and crisp.
GLORIA A Sylvaner x Muller-Thurgau cross grown in Germany where it produces grapes that are rich in sugar, but wines of rather neutral character.
GROS PLANT Folle Blanche
GRENACHE BLANC The white Grenache variant that is widely planted in France and Spain. It is an ancient Spanish variety that has the potential to produce a good-quality full-bodied wine.
Synonyms: Garnacha blanca, Garnacho bianco, Garnaxta
GRUNER VELTLINER The most important wine grape in Austria, where it produces fresh, well balanced wines, with a light fruity sometimes slightly spicy flavor.
Synonyms: Gruner, Grunmuskateller Veltliner, Veltlini(in Hungary), Weissgipfler
GUTENBORNER A Muller-Thurgau x Chasselas cross grown in Germany and England. It produces grapes with intrinsically high sugar levels, but rather neutral wines.
HARSLEVELU A Hungarian grape that is the second most important Tokay variety. It produces a full, rich and powerfully perfumed wine.
HUXELREBE A Chasselas x Muscat courtillier cross grown in Germany and England, capable of producing good-quality wine.
JACQUERE The work horse grape of the Savoie in France.
Synonyms: Buisserate, Cugnette.
JOHANNISBERG RIESLING A synonym often used to distinguish a wine made from the true Riesling grape. Many people believe that the Riesling is at its classic best when grown in the Rheingau vineyards of Johannisberg, thus the synonym probably evolved as a way of indicating that a wine contained Riesling grapes "as grown in Johannisberg".
KANZLER A Muller-Thurgau x Sylvaner cross that produces a good Sylvaner substitute in the Rheinhessen.
KERNER A Trollinger x Riesling cross grown in Germany, South Africa and England. It produces Riesling-like wines with a high natural sugar content and good acidity, but a very light aroma.
LEN DE L'ELH A flavorsome, naturally sugar-rich grape used in Gaillac, in Southwest France.
MACABEO One of three Spanish varieties used to make a sparkling, Cava, wine. Macabeo "lifts" a blend with its fruit freshness. Bearing the name of Viura it is also responsible for the "new wave" of fresh, unoaked white Rioja
Synonyms: Alcanol, Alcanon llego, Lardot, Maccabeo, Maccabeu, Viura
MADELEINE ANGEVINE A Precoce de Malingre x Madeleine royale cross grown quite successfully in England, where it produces a light bodied, aromatic wine.
MALMSEY The seetest of Madeira's four classic grape varieties. It's wine, propably Madeira's best, is a dark brown wine, very fragrant and rich.
MALVASIA Pinot Gris
MANSENG The Gros manseng and Petit manseng are grown in southwest France, and are well known for producing the legendary Jurancon Moelleux.
Synonyms: Manseng blanc, Petit mansenc
MARIENSTEINER A Sylvaner x Rieslaner cross grown in Germany and generally considered superior to the Sylvaner.
MAUZAC A late-ripening grape with good natural acidity grown in southwest France. Flexible in the styles of wine it produces, it is particularly suitable for sparkling wine.
Synonyms: Blanc-lafitte, Maussac, Mauzac blanc, Moisac
MELON DE BOURGOGNE A French variety transplanted from Burgundy to the Nantais in the Loire, to replace the less hardy vines after the terrible winter of 1709. When fully ripe, it produces very flabby wines, lacking in acidity. Used primarily now as a blending grape with other varietals in Naintais.
Synonyms: Gamay blanc, Gamay blanc a feuille ronds, Gros auxerrois, Lyonnaise blanche, Melon, Muscadet, Pinot blanc (in California), Weisserburgunder (in Germany)
MERLOT BLANC A variety cultivated on a surprisingly large scale on the right-bank of the Gironde, yet according to ampelographer Pierre Galet it is not related to the more famous black Merlot variety.
MORIO-MUSKAT A Sylvaner x Pinot blanc cross widely grown in the Rheinpfalz and Rheinhessen of Germany. Intriguingly, its powerfully aromatic character is the inverse of the neutral character displayed by both its parents.
MULLER-THURGAU A variety bred at Geisenheim in 1882 by Professor Hermann Muller, who hailed from the canton of Thurgau in Switzerland, and named after him by August Dem in 1891. The variety was originally believed to be a Riesling x Sylvaner cross, but not one single plant has ever reverted to Sylvaner, and the closest resemblance to it is the Rabaner, a Riesling (clone 88Gm) x Riesling (clone 64Gm). This seems to confirm the theory that the Muller-Thurgau is in fact a self-pollinated Riesling seed. It is more prolific than the Riesling, has a typically flowery bouquet and good fruit, but lacks the Riesling's sharpness of definition. Although the variety has a justifiably important position in the production of German tafelweins, its cultivation in the classic Riesling vineyards of the Mosel, devalues that great wine region. It is widely planted in English and New Zealand vineyards.
Synonyms: Mueller-Thurgau, Rivaner, Riesling-sylvaner
MULTANER A Riesling x Sylvaner cross. A small amount is grown in Germany, but the area planted is declining because the grapes need to be very ripe to produce good-quality wine.
MUSCADELLE A singular variety that has nothing to do with the Muscat family although it does in fact have a distinctive musky aroma. There is, confusingly, a South African synonym for the Muscat - the Muskadel - though it is not related to the Muscadet or Melon de bourgogne despite the inference of one of its synonyms. In Bordeaux, small quantities add a certain lingering "after smell" to some of the sweet wines, but the Muscadelle is at its sublime best in Australia, where it is called the Tokay and produces a fabulously rich and sweet "liqueur wine".
Synonyms: Angelicant, Angelico, Auvernat blanc, Catape, Colle musquette, Douzanelle, Guepie, Guepie-catape, Guillan, Guillan-musque, Muscade, Muscadet, Muscadet doux, Muskadel, Musquette, Muscat fou, Raisinotte, Resinotte, Sauvignon vert (in California), Tokay (in Australia)
MUSCAT A family name for numerous related varieties, sub-varieties and localized clones of the same variety all of which have a distinctive musky aroma and a pronounced grapey flavor. The wines produced range from dry to sweet, still to sparkling and fortified.
NOBLESSA A low yielding Madeleine Angevine x Sylvaner cross grown in Germany that produces grapes with a high sugar level.
NOBLING A Sylvaner x Chasselas cross grown in Baden, Germany. Its grapes have high sugar and acidity levels.
ONDENC A grape that was once widely planted in southwest France and was particularly popular in Bergerac, but more is now grown in Australia than in all of France. Its intrinsically high acidity makes it useful for sparkling wines.
Synonyms: Bequin (in Bordeaux), Blanc select, Blanquette, Sercial (in Australia)
OPTIMA A (Sylvaner x Riesling) x Muller-Tburgau cross developed relatively recently (1970), yet already widely grown in Germany because it is an even earlier, early ripening variety than the Muller-Thurgau.
ORTEGA A Muller-Thurgau x Siegerrebe cross that is grown in both Germany and England. Its aromatic grapes have a naturally high sugar content and make a pleasantly fragrant and spicy wine.
PALOMINO The primary Sherry grape variety.
PARELLADA The major white grape variety of Catalonia, used for still and sparkling Cava wines. In a Cava blend it imparts a distinctive aroma and is used to soften the firm Xarello grape.
Synonyms: Montonec, Montonech
PEDRO XIMENEZ A secondary grape variety of Southern Spain used to sweeten sherries.
PERLE A Gewurztraminer x Muller-Thurgau cross grown in Franken, Germany that can survive winter temperatures as low as -30.C (-22.F), and produce a light, fragrant and fruity wine, but in low yields.
Synonyms: Alzeyer perle
POULSARD The Jura's famous pink-skin and pink juice grape that can produce a fine and aromatic vin gris.
PROSECCO The grape responsible for producing a great deal of very ordinary Italian sparkling wine.
Synonyms: Glera, Serprina
RABANER A Riesling (clone 88Gm) x Riesling (clone 64Gm) cross that has the dubious honor of being the variety diet most resembles the Muller-Thurgau. It is grown in Germany on an experimental basis.
RABIGATO This is the main white Port grape variety
Synonyms: Estreito, Moscatel bravo, Rabo de Ovelha
RKATSITELI A grape variety that is grown extensively in Russia, on a scale that would cover the vineyards of Champagne at least ten times over. The Soviets consider it to be a high-quality wine grape, it is also grown in Bulgaria China, California and New York State.
REGNER A Luglienca bianca x Gamay cross. The parents are a curious combination. Why anyone would consider crossing a table grape with the red wine grape of Beaujolais to create a German white wine variety is a mystery. It produces sugar rich grapes and mild, Muller-Thurgau like wines.
REICHENSTEINER A Muller-Thurgau x Madeleine angevine x Calabreser-frohlich cross grown in Germany and England. It produces sugar-rich grapes and a mild delicate, somewhat neutral Sylvaner like wine.
RHODITIS A grape used as a supporting variety in the making of Retsina in Greece.
RIESLANER A Sylvaner x Riesling cross mainly grown in Franken, Germany, where it produces sugar rich grapes and full bodied, rather neutral wines.
ROBOLA A good quality Greek grape confined to the island of Cephalonia.
ROMORANTIN An obscure variety confined to the Loire Valley. It can produce a delicate, attractive and flowery wine if it is not over cropped.
synonyms: Dannery, Petit Dannezy, Verneuil
SACY A minor grape variety that produces bland "stretching" wine and is grown in small quantities in the Chablis district. Its high acidity could make it very useful in the production of sparkling wines.
Synonyms: Blanc vert, Farine, Gros blanc, Tresallier
SAINT-EMILION A synonym for the Ugni blanc in France and for the Semillon in Romania.
SAVAGNIN The grape responsible for the sherry like "Vin Jaune" of the Jura, the best known of which is Chateau Chalon. The wine, in fact, takes the name of a commune, not a specific chateau. A Savagnin rose grows in the village of Heiligenstein, Alsace, where it is known as the Klevener, as opposed to the Klevner, which is a synonym for the Pinot blanc. The Savagnin noir is merely a synonym for the Pinot noir
Synonyms: Formentin (in Hungary), Fromente, Nature, Salvagnin, Savagnin blanc, Sauvagnin
SAVATIANO The grape used by the Greeks to make their famous Retsina. A pure, unresinated Savatiano called Kanza is made in Attica, the heartland of Retsina.
SCHEUREBE A Sylvaner x Riesling cross that is one of the best of Germany's new varieties. When ripe, it makes very good varietal wines, but, if harvested early the bouquet can be quite unpleasant.
SCHONBERGER A Spatburgunder x (Chasselas rose x Muscat Hamburg) cross grown in Germany and England. It produces sugar-rich grapes that make wine with good aromatic qualities but low acidity
SEPTIMER A Gewurztraminer x Muller-Thurgau cross grown in Germany, where it is early-ripening and produces sugar rich grapes and aromatic wines.
SERCIAL This classic grape of Madeira is reputed to be a distant relative of the Riesling. Judging by its totally different leaf shape, however, this seems unlikely. It's wine is the dryest of the 4 Madieras. It is grown on the upper vineyards and harvested last.
SEYVAL BLANC This Seibel 5656 x Seibel 4586 hybrid is the most successful of the many Seyve-Villard crosses. It is grown in France, New York State and England, where it produces attractive wines.
Synonyms: Seyve-Villard, Seyve Villard 5276.
SIEGERREBE A Madeleine-Angevine x Gewurztraminer cross, widely grown in Germany
STEEN The usually accepted synonym for the Chenin blanc used in South Africa. The term "Stein" is also used in South Africa, but refers to a semi sweet style of white wine. However, many "Stein" blends do contain a large percentage of Steen wine.
SLYVANER Originally from Austria, this variety is widely planted throughout Central Europe. It is prolific, early maturing and yields the dry wines of Franken and Alsace. It is also widely believed to be the Zierfandler of Austria
Synonyms: Botzinger, Franken, Frankenriesling Franken riesling Gros rhin, Grunedel, Gruner Sylvaner, Grunfrankisch, Grunling, Monterey riesling (in California), Moravka silvanske (in Czechoslovakia), Oesterreicher, Scharvaner, Silvain vert, Silvan (in Czechoslovakia), Silvaner, Silvaner bianco, Sonoma riesling (in California), Szilvani (in Hungary)
TREBBIANO + (often with local place name added), See Ungi Blanc.
TROUSSEAU GRIS A grape now more widely grown in California and New Zealand than in its traditional home of the northern Jura, France. It is yet another grape that has been erroneously tagged with the Riesling name in the new world.
Synonyms: Gray riesling Grey riesling
UGNI BLANC A variety that usually makes light, even thin wines, which have to be distilled. Because of this, they are ideal for making Armagnac and Cognac. There are exceptions, but most are light, fresh, quaffing wines at their very best.
Synonyms: Clairette a grains ronds, Clairette ronde, Clairette de Vence, Graisse, Graisse blanc, Muscat aigre, Rossola, Roussan, Roussanne, Saint Emilion, Trebbiano (often with local place name added), White hermitage.
VERDELHO A classic Madeira grape, second to Sercial in dryness and a shade less sweet than a Bual. It's wine is particularly soft and with faint honey and smoke flavors.
VERDICCHIO Apart from making Verdicchio wine, this grape is also used for blending.
Synonyms: Marchigiano, Verdone, Uva marana
VILLARD BLANC A Seibel 6468 x Seibel 6905 hybrid that is the widest-cultivated of the Seyve-Villard crosses in France. Its slightly bitter, iron-rich wine cannot be compared with the attractive wine of the Seyve-Villard 5276 or Seyval blanc grown in England.
WELSCHRIESLING No relation whatsoever to the true Riesling, this variety is grown throughout Europe, producing ordinary medium-dry to medium sweet white wines.
Synonyms: Banatski rizling, Biela sladka grasica, Laskiriesling, Laski rizling, Grassevina, Grasica, Italianski rizling, Italiansky rizling, Olaszriesling, Olasz rizling, Riesling italico, Riesling italianski, Riesling italien, Rismi, Rizling vlassky, Talijanski rizling, Walschriesling
WURZER A German variety with the same Gewurztraminer x Muller-Thurgau origins as the Perle.
XARELLO A Spanish grape that is very important to the sparkling Cava industry It makes firm, alcoholic wines that are softened by Parellada and Macabeo grapes.
Synonyms Pansa blanca, Xarel-lo