Wine Grape Varieties

39 Vitis vinifera species



WA Wine Grape Varieties   = red  = white

Washington state grows about 40 different species of wine grapes (Vitis vinifera), fairly evenly split 50%-50% between red varieties and white varieties. Since most red grapes and most white wine grapes look pretty much the same, an easy way to identify them during your next vineyard tour is to look at the leaves.

Top 4 varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon= 10.3K acres;  Merlot= 8.2K acres;  Chardonnay= 7.7K acres;  Reisling= 6.3K acres

Aligoté
(ah-lee-go-tay)
origin: Burgundy, France
flavors:
Barbera leaf
Barbera
(bar-bare-uh)
body: medium
origin: Piedmont, Italy
Cabernet Franc leaf
Cabernet Franc
(cab-er-nay-frahnc)
body: medium
origin: Bordeaux, France
flavors: violets; blueberry; earth; black olive; coffee
Cabernet Sauvignon leaf
Cabernet Sauvignon
(cab-er-nay saw-vin-yawn)
body: heavy
origin: Bordeaux, France
flavors: Bell pepper; green olive; herb; cassis; black cherry
Chardonnay leaf
Chardonnay
(shar-duh-nay)
body: medium-heavy
origin: Burgundy, France
flavors: green apple; citrus; pineapple; papaya
Chenin Blanc leaf
Chenin Blanc
(shen-in-blahnk)
body: light
origin: Loire , France
flavors: ripe apple; lemon drop; pear; honeydew
Dolcetto
(doll-set-toe)
origin: Piedmont, Italy
Gamay
(gam-may)
origin: Beaujolais, France
flavors: strawberry; raspberry; cherry
Gewürztraminer leaf
Gewürztraminer
(guh-vairts-trah-mee-ner)
body: medium
origin: Alsace, Germany
flavors: lychee; grapefruit; flowers
Grenache leaf
Grenache
(greh-nawsh)
origin: Rhone, France
flavors: spice; cherry
Lemberger
(lem-burger)
origin: Austria
Malbec leaf
Malbec
(mall-beck)
body: medium
origin: Bordeaux, France
flavors: spice; sour cherry
Marsanne leaf
Marsanne
(mar-san)
origin: Rhone, France
flavors: Marzipan; white peaches; pears
Merlot leaf
Merlot
(mer-low)
body: medium
origin: Bordeaux, France
flavors: watermelon; strawberry; cherry; plum
Mourvédre leaf
Mourvédre
(more-veh-druh)
origin: Rhone, France
flavors: spice; cherry
Muller-Thurgau
(mewler tour-gow)
origin: Thurgau, Switzerland
Muscat leaf
Muscat
(muss-cat)
origin: Germany
flavors: orange; tangerine
Nebbiolo leaf
Nebbiolo
(neh-bee-oh-low)
origin: Piedmont, Italy
flavors: plum; pie cherry; tar
Petit Sirah leaf
Petit Sirah
(puh-tee seh-raw)
body: heavy
origin: Rhone, France
Pinot Blanc
(pee-no-blahnc)
body: medium
origin: Alsace, France
flavors: green apple; citrus
Pinot Gris leaf
Pinot Gris
(pee-no-gree)
body: light-medium
origin: Burgundy, France
flavors: pear; melon; citrus
Pinot Noir leaf
Pinot Noir
(pee-no-nwahr)
body: light-medium
origin: Burgundy, France
flavors: tomato leaf; beet root; pale cherry; blackberry; cola; plum
Riesling leaf
Riesling
(rees-ling)
body: light
origin: Rhine, Germany
flavors: green apple; citrus; apricot; peach; honeysuckle
Roussanne
(roo-sawn)
origin: Rhone, France
flavors: lime; citrus, stone fruits
Sangiovese leaf
Sangiovese
(san-joe-vay-see)
body: light-medium
origin: Tuscany, Italy
flavors: pie cherry; anise; tobacco leaf
Sauvignon Blanc leaf
Sauvignon Blanc
(saw-vin-yawn blahnk)
body: light-medium
origin: Bordeaux, France
flavors: grass; herb; citrus; pineapple; peach
Sémillon leaf
Sémillon
(seh-me-yawn)
origin: Bordeaux, France
flavors: fig; melon; light herb
Siegerrebe
(see-gah-ree-ba)
origin: Germany
Syrah leaf
Syrah
(sear-ah)
origin: Rhone, France
flavors: blackberry; boysenberry; plum; pepper; clove
Tempranillo leaf
Tempranillo
(temp-pra-nee-yo)
origin: Rioja, Spain
Viognier leaf
Viognier
(vee-oh-nyay)
body: medium
origin: Rhone, France
flavors: flowers; citrus rind; apricot; peach
Zinfandel leaf
Zinfandel
(zin-fun-dell)
body: medium-heavy
origin: Croatia
flavors: raspberry; blackberry; black cherry; raisin; prune

Tip: The term "variety" refers to the wine grape plant, while "varietal" refers to the wine made from the plant.