Topic: Varietals-and-Wine-Styles

191 result(s).

Graceful Garnacha: A grape with many facets

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With origins in Spain, Garnacha grapes may now be more commonly associated with the Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon region of France where it’s known as Grenache. Learn about Garnacha’s background and making the best version of wine with it.

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Group Winemaking

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A group of winemakers create eight wines from the same grapes to explore the impact of each process.


Classic Catawba: America’s first true wine grape

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Some people have called Zinfandel “America’s grape,” others say it should be Concord. Chik Brenneman is here to make the case for the first true North American wine grape variety: Catawba.

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Cayuga White: Get hooked on its feeling

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A hybrid grape that came out of Cornell University’s breeding program in the 1970s, Cayuga White has found great success while being made into a wide array of wine styles. Learn about its qualities plus a recipe to craft your own at home.

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La Vie En Dry Rosé

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Pink wines may have gotten a bad rap due to sweet versions that dominated in the 80s and 90s, however, dry rosé is becoming more and more popular among winemakers and consumers alike. Whether a dry rosé was always the goal or you have grapes that better suit pink than red wine ­­— we’ll supply the advice to craft an excellent summer sipper.

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Malvasia Bianca: A Greek grape that has gotten around

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A grape of Mediterranean origins, Malvasia grapes spread throughout the region under the umbrella name. Get the scoop on this unusual family of grapes and the variety brought to North America under the title Malvasia Bianca.

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Bonarda Argentine Or Douce Noir or Charbono . . .

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Grape varietal names can be a confusing world, typically because one grape varietal may have over a dozen names based on location. But in this case, one grape name has an array of grape varietals. Get the scoop on Bonarda Argentine, one whose history is finally making sense thanks to DNA analysis.

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Drawing Inspiration from Valpolicella

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Wineries can, and often do, create four distinct wines from a single vineyard in the Italian Valpolicella region. Amarone is the most famous, requiring the grapes to partially dry prior to pressing, but all four unique wines highlight techniques that the home winemaker can learn from.

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Preserved in Amber

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Orange wines, created by fermenting white grapes on the skins, are likely as old as winemaking itself. However, these complex and age-worthy wines are becoming more popular thanks to a renaissance led by winemakers along the border of Italy and Slovenia. Adapt their techniques to your own winemaking.

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Blaufränkisch or Lemberger: International grape of mystery

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As with many Old World grapes that are grown widely, Blaufränkisch goes by many names. And thanks to its versatility in the winery and cool-climate tolerance, its popularity is surging. Learn more about this mysterious grape.

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Put Some Sparkle In Your Wines

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There are several techniques a home winemaker can create bubbles for their wine. Learn about the methods for crafting a sparkling wine of your own.


Making Mulled Wines

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As autumn rolls into winter, it’s time to heat things up with mulled wine. A holiday tradition around the world, mulled wines usually include spices, citrus fruits, and wine served hot to take the chill away.

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Flexible Frontenac: Making a case for this hybrid

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Scattered throughout the Upper Midwest and Rockies, Frontenac wines are making waves as winemakers learn to coax a lot of flavor from this red grape. Chik Brenneman offers several tips and tricks to working with this hybrid varietal.

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The Illustrious Chardonnay: Fine-tuning the classic

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The king of the white wines, Chardonnay can be expressed in a wide array of styles. Chik Brenneman takes readers on a journey through this grape’s story and tips to creating his favorite version of wine from Chardonnay grapes.

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Pét Projects

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Pétillant-naturel sparkling wines — which are bottled prior to the conclusion of fermentation — are having a moment. Without any required riddling, disgorging, or extended aging, pét-nats are a perfect fit for home winemakers to try when getting into sparkling wines.

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Bold Brianna: A strong and healthy grower

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Elmer Swenson’s grape breeding program has had a profound effect on the North American wine scene. One such grape to come from his program is Brianna, a grape that required an estimated 93 crosses to produce. Learn about this grape’s heritage as well as how to best work with it.

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Melon De Bourgogne: Or Muscadet or just plain Melon

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More commonly associated by the wine it produces, Melon de Bourgogne is the grape varietal behind Muscadet wines and the sur lie aging technique. But its mystique doesn’t stop there. Learn more about this old grape varietal known by many names.

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Crafting a Buttery-style of Chardonnay

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Indeed, that flavor you’re after is primarily caused by the malolactic bacteria, which impart that buttery, dairy, or creamy taste in many Chardonnays. This is because these bacteria, depending on the strain, can produce a lot of a compound called diacetyl, which is a natural byproduct of their malic acid metabolism. Diacetyl really does smell

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Colorful Carménère

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Similar to a varietal like Malbec, Carménère has come to be identified with the wine growing regions of South America, but this grape actually was one of the classics of Bordeaux. Chik Brenneman explains the history of this varietal and how to tame this grape when it gets temperamental.

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Grenache Blanc: Some lessons from the Old World

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Grenache Blanc is a grape from the northwestern region of Spain and, as the name implies, has evolved from Grenache Noir. Chik Brenneman provides instructions on making this grape shine, starting in the vineyard and taking it through to bottle.

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Cinsault: The grape that could . . .

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One of the mainstay grapes found in the heat-prone regions in the Rhône Valley of France is Cinsault. It often is utilized in blends to add softness to Rhône-style wines. Another great use is to turn it into rosé wine. Chik Brenneman gives you the scoop on this varietal.


LaCrosse or La Crosse? True diversity in a grape

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Elmer Swenson helped revolutionize the greater wine world with his cold-hardy grape breeding program. One such grape varietal that emerged from all his work was LaCrosse, with five species of grapes in its heritage. Learn about this grape made popular in colder climates — for good reasons.

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Rosy Roussanne: A grape that doesn’t mind a little heat

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In its homeland in the south of France, Roussanne grapes love some heat . . . probably one reason that it’s found a new home in the Texas Hill Country. Learn about this white grape that can stand up to being a varietal wine when conditions are right or blended with others.

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Primitivo: The early-ripening varietal

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Anyone well versed in wine grape nomenclature knows that Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically identical. Yet test trials have shown there are some differences with grape types. Learn some of the history and best practices when handling Primitivo.

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Malbecs Around the Globe

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25 years ago, Argentina’s leading red grape, Malbec, was relatively unknown to Americans. Some wine lovers probably knew the grape from Bordeaux blends. A few aficionados may have tried an inky black


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