Grape varieties

  • Vignoble Gaillac

    Vignoble Gaillac

    © VIET_CRT Midi Pyrénées

  • © Atout France/PHOVOIR

  • Vignoble de Brison-Saint-Innocent

    Vignoble de Brison-Saint-Innocent

    © Savoie Mont Blanc Huchette

Grape varieties

Grapes are a vine fruit.

In order to produce a quality wine, it all begins with the cep,or vine stock, hence the name cépage in French (used to describe the different grape varieties). The vines must be flourishing, average of ten to fifteen years old; they must also be planted in poor soil and benefit from a moderate supply of water (a little rain in autumn and spring, and sun during the summer). The grapes are then harvested once they are well ripened, perfectly healthy and full of sugar: this is the harvest.


Some principal red grape varieties

Grape varieties

Major regions and main
producing countries

Main characteristics

Pinot noir

France (Bourgogne), California (USA), New Zealand.

Aromas: red fruits, black
cherry, game Average acidity, slightly tannic


France (Bordeaux),
Australia, California, Chile

Aromas: blackcurrant, black
cherry Strong acidity, tannic


France (Bordeaux, Languedoc), Italy, California

Aromas: red and black
fruits Weak acidity, slightly tannic


France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Vallée du Rhône),

Aromas: violet, blackberry,
spices Average acidity, tannic


France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Vallée du Rhône), Spain

Aromas: red fruits, leather
Slightly acidic and slightly tannic


Some principal white wine grape
varieties :

Grape varieties

Major regions and main producing countries

Main characteristics


France (Bourgogne,
Champagne), California, Australia 

 Aromas: citrus fruits,
butter, mineral Relatively high acidity


France (Val-de-Loire), New Zealand, California

 Aromas: green fruits, stone
fruits, vegetables. Strong acidity


France (Alsace), Germany

Aromas: peach, green apple,
smoked Strong acidity

Late harvests: dried apricot, honey, almond


France (Alsace), Germany,

 Aromas: honey, musk, spices
Weak acidity


France (Bordeaux,
South-West), Australia, Chile

 Aromas: citrus fruits,
honey, toast, vanilla

More or less acidic according to the wine
(Graves, Sauternes)