As a home wine maker, you’re probably about to say – wine comes from the wine making equipment in my garage/kitchen/etc. However, what we’re talking about here isn’t where a particular bottle happens to have been made but rather where certain styles of wine originated. As you probably already know, virtually all wines are made from the fruit of vitis vinifera.
This species of grape is native to the Old World, ranging from northwestern Europe to as far south and east as Iran, but of course that means there are an enormous number of varieties and regional variations which have all contributed to the culture of wine.
While there are entirely too many different types of wine grapes to discuss here, if you’d like to know a little about a few of the world’s most popular wines and their places of origin, then you’ve come to the right place – read on for a little background on a cluster (if you’ll forgive the pun) of these grapes.
This is one of Italy’s most famous wine grapes and is in fact the third most planted wine grape in this very wine conscious nation. This grape is thought to have first been grown in Monferrato, in the heart of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Characterized by a lively acidity and a relatively low amount of tannins, Barbera is one Italian classic that is catching on with home vintners.
There are few wines that are better known around the world than Cabernet Sauvignon, and it’s a favorite with home wine makers as well as with wine enthusiasts worldwide. While you’ll find this grape being grown in nearly every country that produces wine, it is native to France. A full body makes it a great partner for other grapes in blends.
Also known as Syrah, this French varietal is grown nearly everywhere in the world and has become very popular with wine lovers and wine makers alike for its assertive character with notes of black pepper and spice. It’s an easy wine to love – and for home vitners, it’s also an easy one to make.
This grape is very strongly associated with France, where it truly came into its own. However, the historical evidence suggests that it may have originated in the Balkans and arrived in France with the Roman invasion. Regardless of where it may have begun its career as a wine grape, Chardonnay is one of the most recognizable and popular varieties of white wine in the world.