At a glance
Using the Varietals Directory
You’ve reached the Varietals section of the site. Each of the Varietals provided in the ‘Listings” section will take you to an individual Varietal Encyclopedia page. In additional to growing and serving information, you’ll also find links to member Wineries that produce that Varietal. This is great resource for finding wines that match specific characteristics. If you want a directory of all Varietals and their characteristics, click on the “Encyclopedia Varietal Report” in the “Quick Links” section of the site.
Characteristics Listed for Varietals
So what is wine anyway? A scientist might say that wine is the perfect melding of what nature can produce and man can modify. A writer - that it’s a journey that can take decades from cutting to vineyard, to press, barrel and glass. On that journey, it goes through dozens of steps that can influence the flavor, feel and ageability of the wine.
A great winemaker can’t make great wine from bad grapes but a bad winemaker can make bad wine from great grapes. So what’s it mean? The hand of the winemaker transforms the fruit, and using modern techniques and creative license, can profoundly change the character of wines that traditionally conformed to a common style.
|Questions about wine invariably involve food pairings, serving temperature and ageability. The modern winemaker has so many options during the winemaking process, that
there aren’t absolute answers anymore. Every wine has its own characteristics even within individual varietals.
Despite those variations, for each varietal we’ve attempted to provide answers to the most basic questions asked. This assumes the wine maker has at least loosely adhered to classical techniques. If a Cabernet Sauvignon is called “drinkable”, that usually means it’s made to be enjoyed now. Setting it down for 10 years will more likely result in bad tasting vinegar rather than an exceptional wine. If a Chardonnay is made without the use of Oak, it will likely taste better served at a lower temperature than we’ve recommended because of its lighter structure. Use the information provided as a general guide and customize it to suit the types of wines that you prefer. For each wine profiled, we’ve included the following information:
|Area/Country of Origin||Climate|
|Soil Type||Region of Origin|
Listing of Wines Grown in California
|If you are aware of a wine produced as a Varietal by a California vintner that's not listed here, please drop us a note by clicking on the button below so we can list it.|