Old World Wine Regions

What is in my bottle of wine? New World wines (USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Chile) are frequently easier to navigate on the wine list and at retail, as the grape varieties are typically listed prominently on the label. Wines of the Old World (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Croatia) are less obvious unless you are familiar with the region, as most of the wines list the region, not the grape, on the label.

To help you navigate the wine list and the store shelf like a pro, here is a list of the major grape varieties that can be found in the most predominant Old World wine-producing regions.

France

Bordeaux

(Médoc, Pomerol, St-Émilion, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Entre-Deux-Mers, Sauternes)

Red Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec

White Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon

Burgundy

(Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Châlonnaise, Mâconnais, Beaujolais)

Red Grapes: Pinot Noir, Gamay

White Grapes: Chardonnay

Loire Valley

 (Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre, Vouvray, Anjou, Muscadet)

Red Grapes: Cabernet Franc

White Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc

Champagne

(Valley of the Marne, Moutain of Reims, Côte des Blancs, Côte des Bar)

Red Grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier

White Grapes: Chardonnay

Côtes du Rhône

(Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas, Côte Rotie, St-Joseph, St-Perey, Château-Grillet, Condrieu, Châteauneuf-de-Pape, Gigondas, Lirac, Tavel, Vacqueyras)

Red Grapes: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault

White Grapes: Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Picpoul

Alsace

Red Grapes: Pinot Noir

White Grapes: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner

Languedoc-Roussillon

Red Grapes: Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault

White Grapes: Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier

Provence

Red Grapes: Grenache, Syrah

White Grapes: Rolle (Vermentino), Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano), Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc

Spain

Rioja

Red Grapes: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo, Maturana Tinta

White Grapes: Viura, Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo

Priorat

Red Grapes: Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah

Ribera del Duero

Red Grapes: Tempranillo

Penedès (Cava)

White Grapes: Macabeo (Viura), Parellada, Xarel-lo, Malvasia

Red Grapes: Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon

Rias Baixas

White Grapes: Albariño

Sherry

White Grapes: Palomino, Pedro Ximénez

Italy

Tuscany

(Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Carmignano)

Red Grapes: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

White Grapes: Vernaccia

Piedmont

(Barolo, Barbaresco)

Red Grapes: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcello

White Wines: Moscato, Cortese, Arneis

Veneto

(Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave, Prosecco)

Red Grapes: Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella

White Grapes: Garganega, Trebbiano, Glera

Germany

Rheinhessen

White Grapes: Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

Red Grapes: Dornfelder, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Kerner

Rheingau

White Grapes: Riesling, Müller-Thurgau

Red Grapes: Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir)

Mosel

White Grapes: Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Elbling

Austria

White Grapes: Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay

Red Grapes: Blauer Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir

Greece

White Grapes: Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, Roditis (pink grape)

Red Grapes: Agiorgitiko, Xinomavro

A special thank you to John P. Laloganes, Sommelier, Educator and Author of acclaimed books like The Beverage Manager’s Guide to Wines, Beers and Spirits and others. Our team is grateful for his mentorship and continued passion for wine education. Cellar Angels customers are more informed wine enthusiasts because of the content on this page, which he generously provided.

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