Wine Varietal Chart


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

wine varieties
Wine varieties on display at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville

Know your wines – Wine Varietal Chart

Use the Wine Varietal Chart to understand the major varieties of wines. For each wine grape, the chart shows its characteristics and the weight of the wine, from light to heavy-bodied. You can dig deeper into the Wine Varietal Chart by clicking on the name of the wine to learn additional information about the grape. You can also find out where the variety is growing in California wine country regions.

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A good way to learn about wine is to select a variety of wine that you have not tried before. Be open to new wines and wine regions. Too many wine folks stick with Chardonnay for white and Cabernet Sauvignon for red. Branch out and try a different wine variety each week. 

White Wines

Aromas and Flavors


Sparkling Wine Apple, pear, yeast Medium
Sauvignon Blanc (also Fume Blanc) Herbaceous, grassy, hay, citrus, grapefruity Light to Medium
Chardonnay Pear, apple, oak, buttery, creamy Medium to Heavy
Viognier Floral, peach, apricot, pear, fruity Medium
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio Crisp, pear, peach, apricot Light
Pinot Blanc Pear, apple, floral Medium
Chenin Blanc Peaches, fruity Light
Gewurztraminer Lychee nut, spices, rose petals Medium
Riesling Apple, lemon, floral, apricot, fruity Light

Red Wines

Aromas and Flavors


Pinot Noir Strawberry, berries, cherry Light-medium
Merlot Blackberry, plum, currant, chocolate, vanilla Medium
Zinfandel Berries, jammy, cherry, earthy Medium to heavy
Cabernet Sauvignon Blueberries, black currant, cassis, raspberries, oaky Heavy
Syrah peppery, spice, blackberry, cinnamon Medium to heavy
Petite Sirah Blackberry, pepper, jammy Heavy
Sangiovese Cherry, fruity, spice Light to medium
Cabernet Franc Raspberry, cassis, herbaceous Medium
Barbera Berries, red fruit Medium
Malbec Cherry, strawberry, plum Medium

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  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

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