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Varietal Guide


 
G

Gaglioppo (red)
(Gag-LEE-yo-po)
The main red grape variety of Calabria in Italy's south, whose robust tannins and rich flavours, particularly around the town of Cir�, have earned it a reputation as 'the Barolo of the South'.

Gamay (red)
(GAM-may)
Gamay is the Beaujolais grape, and, as such, carries with it an innate inferiority complex next to the Red burgundy grape, Pinot Noir. It's a pity because when it's good, Gamay can make a deliciously, gushingly juicy everyday red with a refreshing nip of acidity and flavours ranging from strawberry and cherry to hints of banana. In the ten Beaujolais crus, it's also capable of making a more serious, ageworthy red. Also grown with moderate success in the Loire, Switzerland and former Yugoslavia and known for some strange reason in California as Valdiguié.

Garganega (white)
(Gahr-gah-neh-gah)
This is the classic white grape of Soave, notorious for its vapid character, although when made well from low-yielding, hillside vineyards, it can be delicately almondy and crisp.

Gew�rztraminer (white)
(Geh-VERTZ-trah-mee-nur)
One of the most distinctively perfumed grapes in the world, Gew�rz is the Alsace grape which smells of fragrant rose petals and Turkish Delight and tastes of lychees. Its boudoir spiciness make it an extremely popular wine with newcomers to wine, although it can be on the heavy side. In its late-harvest form, it makes deliciously rich, sweet, exotic whites. It can be difficult to get the balance right in the vineyard, but is widely grown in Europe, notably Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe as well as in small quantities in Chile, South Africa, Oregon, California, Australia and New Zealand too.

Grechetto (white)
(Greh-KEH-toe)
One of Italy's more characterful dry white grape varieties principally responsible for the slightly fennel-like Umbrian whites of Orvieto and also Vin Santo.

Greco (white)
(GREH-co)
Grape variety of Greek origin, hence the name, grown in Campania, the best examples of which are Greco di Tufo and Greco di Bianco.

Grenache/Garnacha (red)
(Gray-NAHSH) / (Gahr-NAH-cha)
One of the world's most widely planted grapes, Grenache is a quintessentially Mediterranean red variety which does best as a low yielding bush vine. It produces powerful, warming, raspberryish reds whose greatest expression, from old, low-yielding vines, is to be found in Ch�teauneuf-du-Pape (Ch�teau Rayas) in France and in Australia's Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. It also makes good fortified reds as in Banyuls, Rivesaltes and Maury. Known in Spain as Garnacha tinta, where it's widely planted, particularly in Rioja and Priorat, it fleshes out the tempranillo. It's grown in California and in Italy too.

Grignolino (red)
(Gree-nyoh-LEE-no)
Native of the same north-western Italian alpine foothills as Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo, producing youthful, attractively scented, everyday reds.

Grillo (white)
(GREE-lo)
Sicilian variety which has traditionally been used as the basis for the fortified wines of Marsala but also used to make a honeyed, still dry white with good acidity.

Gr�ner Veltliner (white)
(GREW-ner Felt-LEE-ner) 
Austria's most widely planted grape variety, where, in quality regions like the Wachau, Kamptal and Kremstal, it can produce an assertive, steely, rich dry white capable of rivalling the best Rieslings, while around Vienna it is used for the young 'Heurige'wines. It has a unique aroma and flavour with elements of white pepper and celery marking it out from any other variety. It's also grown to a certain extent in Slovakia and Hungary.

 

H

H�rslevel� (white)
(HARSH-leh-veh-LOO)
Important partner with furmint in the Tokaji blend bringing aromatic and spicy properties to the blend, and also grown in other parts of central Europe.

Huxelrebe (white)
(HOOK-sel-reh-buh)
Aromatic German crossing with grapefruity undertones mainly grown in Pfalz and Rheinhessen with small quantities planted in England.

 

I

Inzolia (white)
(In-ZOH-lee-ah)
Grown mainly in Sicily and in Tuscany a little. Used commonly in white table wines, it has an acidic, nutty flavour.

Iona (white)
(I-OWN-ah)
New York-based hybrid grape used for producing dry, sparkling whites.

 

J

Jacqu�re (white)
(Jah-kair)
Little-known, quality white variety confined to Savoie, where it makes attractive Alpine dry whites with real verve and zip to them.

 

K

Kerner (white)
(Kair-ner)
Reliable ripener and successful Riesling-based crossing largely replacing Silvaner in Germany, where it's a better bet than either Silvaner or M�ller-Thurgau.

 

L

Lambrusco (red)
(Lam-BROOS-co)
A varietal from the Vitis Lambusca family, this unusual and popular red varietal from the Modena region of Italy is always made as a frizzante, or lightly sparkling wine. it is made in a semisweet and a dry style that uses the Charmat method to produce the wine.

Listan (white)

(LEES-stin)
Also known as Palomino, the Spanish grape variety is used best in large quantities for Sherry production. It's also planted widely around the world, used to produce low quality table wines.

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