- Cabernet Sauvignon -
- This is the world's most renowned grape variety for the production of red wines. The best Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Bordeaux, France, although it is grown in most of the major wine producing areas, including Napa Valley, California. Many of the grapes grown in California will astonish you with their richness and complexity.
- Chardonnay -
- Has become the world's most often purchased dry white wine. Chardonnay is grown in nearly every wine producing area of the world. Usually aged in oak barrels, the wine is rich in strong flavors and aromas. The wine contains a fruity character with vanilla and buttery components.
- Chenin Blanc -
- It is one of the most widely grown grapes in California. This grape is viewed as cheap and common place. Many vineyards are replacing this grape with Chardonnay and other grapes that can fetch higher prices. Has a very fruity character and blends very well with Chardonnay to add fruit and acidity.
- Grenache -
- It is the world's second most widely planted grape variety. Grenache tends to be sweet but doesn't have a lot of character unless it was well-vinified. Grown in many places that have to deal with drought and extreme heat.
- Merlot -
- It is along the same lines as a Cabernet Sauvignon but it is less tannic and more lush. Full-bodied with flavors of cherry, plum, and chocolate. Merlot blends very well into Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Emilion, and Pomerol.
- Pinot Blanc -
- It produces a soft, fruity dry white wine that is often compared to Chardonnays. Pinot Blanc is high in acidity and has hints of apple and spice. Does not age well and is less complex than Chardonnay.
- Pinot Gris -
- This brown colored grape has become very successful in Oregon. It produces a dry and crisp white wine with a heady feel and rich in spice flavors.
- Pinot Noir -
- The premier grape of the Burgundy region of France. It is a very difficult grape to grow but if well grown, they can be made into a wine that is rich and complex, tasting of black cherries, raspberries, and mint.
- Riesling -
- This is one of the world's great wines. Reisling grapes need cooler climates and thrive in places like Germany. It has a high level of acidity and are very floral and fruity. This wine is noted for being a wine that has great age potential.
- Semillon -
- White grape that has low acidity and peachy roundness. Used to partner with many wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon is often very inexpensive and thus a great value for many wine regions.
- White Zinfandel -
- This grape produces a light blush wine made in California. The red Zinfandel grapes are quickly separated from their skins during crushing and fermentation that results in a very light pink wine. White Zinfendels are made in a sweet style to balance with the high acidity.
- Zinfandel -
- This grape has European origin but is cultivated predominantly in California. This grape has gone through many image problems but today is a very successful counterpart to other grapes grown in California. Very drinkable and popular among Americans and foreigners alike.