• The primary flavour of wine is dictated by the grape variety.
  • There are over 4,000 grape species used in wine making.
  • 12 varietals make up over 70% of all wine sales*.

* Source: Neilson, MAT value sales Aug 2011.

White grapes


Chardonnay grapes

Chardonnay produces fruit flavours that vary greatly depending on where it is grown. In cool regions, such as Chablis, it’s all about green fruits (apple, pear) whereas in warm regions, such as Australia, tropical fruits are more dominant (peach, pineapple).

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc grapes

These grapes need a cool climate to develop the strongest green fruit and vegetation aromas such as gooseberry, elderflower and asparagus that it is famous for. They produce wines that are very dry and mouth-watering with fresh, fruity acidity.


Semillon grapes

These grapes produce great sweet wines but the drier styles can be fairly neutral. They are often blended with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc where they provide body and help sustain fruit flavours.

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc grapes

These grapes produce a wide range of wine styles. Young wines will taste of fresh apples and exotic fruits, while the flavours become richer and more rounded and honeyed with age.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio grapes

This grape produces a light wine with delicate apple aromas and a fairly neutral taste.


Colombard grapes

These wines are fresh, dry and fruity, with grassy character and citrus acidity. It makes an ideal blending partner to the fuller bodied Chardonnay.

Red grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes

A well-known grape with intense black fruit flavours of blackcurrants and black cherries. This grape produces deep coloured wines with lots of tannins and is often blended with Merlot to produce a softer finish.


Merlot grapes

A popular grape with big red and black fruit flavours of raspberries, ripe strawberries, plum and blackberry, giving the wine a softer taste.


Shiraz grapes

This grape produces huge, spicy, peppery wines and is not for the fainthearted.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir grapes

These grapes are difficult to grow but delicious in taste, producing a soft red wine.


Zinfandel grapes

Growing in popularity and full of black and red berry fruits, these grapes produce both red and rosé wines. In red wine, this grape shows characters of black fruit such as blackberry and prune. Rosé wines are often medium sweet, refreshing and taste of strawberries.


Tempranillo grapes

The main grape variety used in Spain’s most famous wine, Rioja. It produces wines with flavours of strawberries, a hint of spice and vanilla when matured in oak.

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