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Top 10 grape varieties to know

Tasting courses, literary reviews, television reports, everything is done to talk about wine and our French grape varieties (grapes used to make wine). But there are hundreds of them on the territory: we help you to decipher the main grape varieties to know! Pinot noir, Merlot, Malbec or Grenache ... What are their differences, how to recognize them? Easy, here are the details of 10 grape varieties to know to be unaware on the subject!

First the red wines:

The Pinot Noir

The most planted red grape variety in Burgundy,the Pinot Noiris not always an easy grape variety for the winemaker. But the one who knows how to handle it and whisper to the vines of the latter will get a more than wonderful nectar. Pinot noir is the flagship grape variety and is the master of the region.BourguignonneFragile, it enters in the composition of some of our wines ofLoirewines, those ofAlsace but also in the making of the French wine gold,Champagne.

It is distinguished by aromas of cherry and its variations, with the keeping of notes, such as prune,the gameIf the Pinot Noir is well worked, it will give red wines of great quality with different aspects. Power, finesse, intensity and aromatic complexity are recognized. And when you know it, you can appreciateits dress(color) often not very intense but full of promise.

Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Domaine JP Rivière, Bourgogne : This wine is made from a traditional Burgundian vinification with a daily punching down of the cap. The result? Silver medal at the Lyon International Competition! To speak a little about the wine, it has a bright red color. Its nose is frank and quite complex with aromas of candied cherry, morello cherry and raspberry. In the mouth, this wine is balanced, round with soft, fine and elegant tannins. The finish is very long. This wine fully expresses the typicity and nobility of Pinot Noir.

The Merlot

When one thinks of the Merlot grape variety, one thinksBordeaux ! Indeed, this is its terroir of origin, yet this robust and spirited grape variety has made a long journey to find itself planted in theSoutheastof France and in our beautiful vineyard Languedoc.

Merlot is an ideal grape variety for blending, it adapts and above all it rounds off the sometimes rough edges of certain grape varieties in their youth. A Bordeaux, it is the companion of Cabernet, an early variety that develops easily and allows the "quick" opening of our grand crus and crus bourgeois.It will show itself in structured wines, perfumed with notes of red fruits: strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant sometimes just picked and other times with more "jammy" tastes. With time, not everything goes away, the fruit remains but aromas of prune, violet, leather or even fur will stand out with elegance.

Tentation Merlot, Château Caminade Haut Guérin, Bordeaux : Direction Bordeaux with this vintage rated 2 stars in the guide hachette 2023! A real nugget, Tentation Merlot has a bewitching purple red color. It is a wine that gives off an interesting complexity with a rather roasted nose and a supple and elegant attack in the mouth. The finish is bright with roundness and supple tannins.


MalbecCôt, Griffoin, Mauzat, Vesparol, Prolongeau: this grape has many names... Powerful and fruity, it has tastes of plum, tobacco or even liquorice. Native of theSouthwestand often associated with a strong and tannic red wine. Very colorful wines are rich, powerful, spicy. A beautiful freshness in the mouth that allows them not to disgust during tasting. It is the wine of the third half.

Les Mains Sales, Vignobles Bouillac, Bordeaux : Nugget alert! This 100% Malbec is surprisingly complex and elegant. When you look at it, you can notice beautiful purple reflections in its robe. The nose is deeply complex. We can note notes of black fruits sprinkled with spices supported by a mentholated frame... In short to fall down. Notes of vanilla and cachou coat this wine with a smooth attack. Fruit, elegance and character are the key words of this very rare vintage, which is the result of an artisanal process where all the steps are done by hand.

Le Trousseau

We could have talked to you about many other grape varieties but we love the Juraand its wines so we tell you about one of our Jura basicsTannic, colorful and long lasting, Trousseau gives spicy, peppery and green bell pepper aromas. It is often associated with Poulsard in order to give supple wines with a longer shelf life. Trousseau is not found everywhere, only in the Jura appellations of Arbois, Arbois-Pupillin, Côtes de JuraCrémant du Jura and Macvin du Jura.

Corail du Château d'Arlay, Jura : This Corail is a TGV : Very Great Wine for every day ! In this cuvée you will find this magnificent grape variety, the Trousseau, which perfectly expresses the Jura terroir. The robe is a luminous red with tile-like reflections. On the nose, the surprise is in its rather mineral bouquet with notes of red fruits, undergrowth and sweet spices. In the mouth, the aromatic palette is complex: wild cherry, exotic wood supported by a beautiful freshness and fine tannins almost salty.

The Gamay

Oh gamay my beautiful red gamay with white juice... Not always easy to be the gamay. We love it inLoireWe love it all over the world but why don't we love the gamay ofBeaujolaisGamay is a great grape, full of complexities, of good quality, it remains fragile and requires attention. So gamay is fruity notes: raspberry, wild strawberry, blackberry or black cherry. But not only! It is also used to make wines with little color and little tannin, with a slightly acidic and fresh structure. However, it does not have a long shelf life and will be a perfect companion for aperitifs.

Pif gamay, from Domaine de la Piffaudière, Loire : A little thirsty? This wine is here to save you! And what we like when a wine knows how to express itself like that! The robe is ruby, the nose ultra refreshing with aromas of blackcurrant and raspberry. This wine has a nice length in the mouth with a spicy finish that gives it a nice character!

Then the white wines:


Of Burgundian origin,ChardonnayChardonnay is one of the most planted, appreciated and drunk grape varieties in the world... This is not surprising when you know that Chardonnay is a bit like the Arturo Brachetti of grapes to be vinified. It transforms itself according to the soils, the barrels and the climates, to give always surprising wines. Multifaceted, it can give straight wines, round, acid or not. It can be made into dry, sparkling and even sweet wines for some. It is said to be livelier and more acidic on the northern terroirs and rounder and more supple on the southern terroirs.

These aromas are varied, complex and frank, it goes from dry fruit to hazelnut, grilled almond or exotic fruits. We also find tastes of butter, fern, lime, pear, walnut or acacia flower to name a few.

Chablis from Domaine Céline and Frederic Gueguen, Burgundy: It is the perfect chardonnay par excellence. It has won several awards: DECANTER and WINE ENTHUSIAST. Its brilliant yellow color bewitches us, its fruity nose reminds us of white fruits, and its supple mouth with a touch of acidity seduces us!

Le Sauvignon

Before conquering the world,the Sauvignonhad found in France very favorable soils for its culture: Loire, SouthwestCenter France. A less shy grape variety than one might think, it does not adapt to all soils.

However, it is a variety of great diversifications. It can be found indry white winesIt can be found in very aromatic, lively and balanced wines in its youth, but also in slightly more unctuous wines always mixing aroma and nervousness. Associated with Botrytis (noble rot) or in late harvest, it will pleasantly perfect sweet white wines.

How to recognize it ? Sauvignon has floral notes such as boxwood, narcissus and jasmine but also delicate citrus flavors such as lemon or grapefruit. With certain limestone soils, this charming grape variety will also develop a nice fresh mineral side in the mouth.

The sauvignon moment, Berthier vineyard, Loire : Get out your binoculars, huge nuggets on the horizon! The cuvée "L'instant" is a bouquet of flavors between flowers, exotic fruits, citrus fruits. In the mouth, it is incredible, the attack is supple, tender and prolonged by a refreshing vivacity which balances the sensation of sweetness. The floral aromas are very present accompanied by some notes of quince and pear.


The white Grenacheis one of our grape varieties imported in France during the Middle Ages. Grenache Blanc is often identified by its aromas of fennel, dill, melon and white nectarine. It is a grape variety that is not made for ageing wines, however, it has an extraordinary potential to take sugar. Thus, we will find it in dry white wine as a great natural sweet wine. Warm, full-bodied, long in the mouth, it can sometimes lack acidity.

The Grey Grenache of the Mas Gabinèle domain, Languedoc :Thierry chose the white Grenache for his magnificent vintage. He was right, it is a delight. It is necessary to press it delicately, to let the must settle patiently then to vinify it gently! Then, it is happiness, we obtain a bright white with scents of citrus and white fruit. The mouth is soft and unctuous


Native of the edges of the Loire,the Cheninis a magnificent grape variety for the amateurs ofdry white wine. It develops beautiful mineral expressions of chalk and flint. It knows how to show sweetness thanks to its aromas of pear, quince or even acacia honey. Spicy notes will be able to raise it at the end of mouth. Its acidity allows Chenin to give lively wines in their generalities. Malleable, it can be vinified into dry, sparkling and sweet white wines.

Chenin from Domaine Biet, Loire : The robe of this wine is magnificent with silver reflections. The nose expresses flint and white fruits. Its minerality is refreshing and tender. This wine is very pleasant and will go very well with seafood, fish or poultry.

Le Savagnin

Once again, we could have told you about many other more famous grape varieties but we chose to tell you about this grape originating from the Austrian Tyrol and very well known in Franche-Comté: the Savagnin.This grape variety has developed aromas of walnut, hazelnut, flowers, honey or green apple and is emblematic of the Jura. The Savagnin is used in the elaboration of dry white wine, theyellow wineIt is also used to make dry white wine, straw wine, crémant du Jura and liqueur such as Macvin. Characteristic, it is strong as much in its resistance to diseases as in its complexity, its power and its ageing.

Savagnin Ouillé from Domaine de Saint Marie, Jura : It is the emblematic grape variety of the region! This cuvée has been vinified for 2 years in barrels, but unlike the yellow wine, it is toasted. The barrels are perpetually filled with wine to compensate for the natural evaporation. At the end, we find ourselves with a fresh yellow wine, very light, and very pleasant in the mouth.

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