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A grape varietal is a strain of vine. There are nearly 10,000 varieties, belonging to the Vitis Vinifera species native to Asia Minor. A distinction is made between table grapes eaten fresh or dried and specific wine grapes intended for vinification. After domestication a few millennia ago, the species has mutated by crossbreeding between varieties to promote resistances, better yield or other desirable traits. Around a hundred varieties are grown, of which a dozen are dominant.

Learning about wine via a grape variety approach involves knowing how to detect their distinguishing characteristics in order to better understand the role of the terroir: A Chardonnay vinified in Burgundy will not have the same profile as an Australian Chardonnay. We also learn to identify them in the composition of blended wines. A real challenge in blind tastings!

Black Grape Varieties

White Grape Varieties