Varietal: Red Vinifera Grapes
Hailing from the southern regions of Italy, Aglianico is revered as producing big and bold red varietal wines. It is finding its way across the sea and will need some taming in order to make the best from its clusters. Get the scoop.
Graceful Garnacha: A grape with many facetsMEMBERS ONLY
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.
Bonarda Argentine Or Douce Noir or Charbono . . .MEMBERS ONLY
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.
Blaufränkisch or Lemberger: International grape of mysteryMEMBERS ONLY
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.
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.
Cinsault: The grape that could . . .FREE
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.
Tempranillo Tips from the A-TeamMEMBERS ONLY
Tempranillo is a Spanish grape best known as the main ingredient in that country’s respected Rioja wines. It’s also the basis of Vega Sicilia, arguably Spain’s most famous vino. Tempranillo wines can have flavors you’d expect in a Cabernet, like dark fruit and mocha, the pepper you might find in a Syrah, and the savory
Primitivo: The early-ripening varietalMEMBERS ONLY
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.
Malbecs Around the GlobeFREE
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
Beyond Beaujolais: Get acquainted with Gamay NoirMEMBERS ONLY
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com Wine brings people together. This is cause for great reflection for me personally because as you read this, I will have been retired from the University of California Teaching and Research Winery for several months. It is a very sentimental time in my life because of all the contacts I made
Discussing Pros v. Cons of Pinot NoirMEMBERS ONLY
Pinot Noir has quite a reputation. Often known as the “Heartbreak Grape” and lovingly discussed, dissected, and degustated (is that even a word?) by rabid Pinot-philes the world over, Pinot Noir was being talked about in the wine world well before the movie Sideways thrust it onto an international stage. Many years after Miles and
Noble Nebbiolo: Time to raise it from the fogMEMBERS ONLY
Explore the grape varietal made famous by the Italian wineries producing Barolo and Barbaresco wines in the Piemonte region of northern Italy. Learn about Nebbiolo’s history, viticulture, enology, and future.
Crafting Pinot Noir WinesMEMBERS ONLY
Finesse the legendary grape from Burgundy.
Making Cabernet SauvignonFREE
RED wine Case Study: There are two important keys to determining the success of any grape varietal. The first key is its adaptability to the local climate where it is planted. We
Zinfandel: ‘America’s’ grapeMEMBERS ONLY
We all are familiar with White Zinfandel, the rosé style that enjoyed immense popularity in recent years and led to the emergence of a rosé boom with other varieties.
Barbera frequently comes in with high acidity but, with the right winemaking approach, it makes a food-friendly red for people who drink wine every day.
Tempranillo: Spanish nobilityMEMBERS ONLY
Tempranillo is the predominant black grape variety from the northern wine region of Spain we know as the Rioja, and other regions of the Iberian Peninsula.
Grenache: An international blenderMEMBERS ONLY
In the vineyard, Grenache is extremely vigorous and needs a long growing season to mature all of its fruit.
Merlot: Noble grape of BordeauxMEMBERS ONLY
. . . Merlot is the most common grape variety grown in France with about 280,000 acres.
Nero d’Avola: The red grape of SicilyMEMBERS ONLY
. . . Sicily’s legacy of red wine is all about Nero d’Avola, second only to Catarratto Bianco. There are almost 18,000 hectares (about 46,000 acres) of Nero in Sicily.
To understand Montepulciano the grape, you also have to understand the difference with Montepulciano the place. Chik Brenneman takes you on a tour of eastern Tuscany, Italy in this issue.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Master ClassMEMBERS ONLY
Grab a seat, take out your pencil, and get ready for an introduction into the master class on the world’s most popular grape. Guest lecturers include three experts on making Cabernet wines.
Making White ZinfandelFREE
Funny you ask this question as I’ve just now got three tanks full of 2016 Monterey Pinot Noir rosé fermenting in the winery. White Zinfandel, contrary to what some folks think, is
High Acids, Low Tannins: BarberaFREE
Barbera is a favorite among winemakers because its high acidity makes it a useful grape for blending and also a unique varietal wine. Get tips to make your own Barbera wines at home.
Pinotage: The Red Grape of South AfricaMEMBERS ONLY
Pinotage is the most recognized — though not the most widely grown — South African red wine grape.