The ultimate A-Z of grapes. C is for...

Posted by Christopher Gifford on

C is for cookie! Yes, cookie monster, but it's also for a host of very, very tasty grapes. 

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major varieties of red wine grape in Bordeaux. It is mostly grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style. It is is also vinified alone, particularly in Chinon in the Loire. Depending on growing region and the style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis, sometimes even violets. The Cabernet Franc wine’s color is bright pale red.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the "noble grapes" and one of the world’s most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country. The aroma of blackcurrants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in nearly every style of the wine across the globe.

Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. 

Canaiolo

Canaiolo (also called Canaiolo Nero or Uva Canina) is a red grape mostly used in Tuscany (Italy) together with Sangiovese and Colorino to create Chianti wine and as an important but secondary component of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Maximum percentage of Canaiolo grapes in all the different sub-areas of Chianti is 10%, so it doesn't account for a whole lot.

Carignan

Carignan is a red wine grape that originated in Cariñena, Aragon (Spain). It’s generally blended with Cinsaut, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre, and Merlot.

Most commonly found in the Languedoc where Syrah and Grenache are considered its best blending partners.

Carménère

Along with Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux.

However, the home of Carménère could now said to be Chile, much like Malbec has become synonymous with Argentina, just a hop over the Andes.

It imparts a cherry-like, fruity flavor with smokey, spicy and earthy notes and a deep crimson color. Tastes like dark chocolate, tobacco, and new leather boots, but in a good way.

Charbono

Charbono is a black grape the second most commonly grown variety in Argentina, where it is known as Bonarda. The wine made from Charbono tends to be dark, with medium to high tannins and acidity. Charbono ripens quite late and produces pretty decent wines, which can age nicely for years.

Chardonnay

Probably needs no introduction. However, there is no "One Chardonnay" because grape has been often described as “malleable”, in that it takes on the impression of its terroir and winemaker.

Lots of different styles, from the elegant, "flinty" wines of Chablis to rich, buttery, creamy, gorgeous wines of Meursault in Burgundy, to the New World wines where it's often described in terms of tropical fruit flavours.

It’s also an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne.

Chenin Blanc

A white wine grape hailing from the Loire valley in France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines.

Outside the Loire, it’s the most widely planted variety in South Africa, where it’s known as Steen. If Malbec is Argentina's grape calling card, then Chenin Blanc is South Africa's.

Cinsault

Cinsault is a red wine grape, whose heat tolerance and productivity make it an important one in Languedoc-Roussillon.

Often blended with grapes such as Grenache and Carignane to add softness and bouquet.

Clairette blanche

Clairette blanche is a white wine grape variety most widely grown in the wine regions of Provence, Rhône and Languedoc in France. It is also one of the thirteen grape varieties permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. How do they keep track, I wonder.

Colombard

Colombard is traditionally grown in the Charentes and Gascony to make distilled wines of Cognac and Armagnac. However, it's still used for white wine blends in certain Bordeaux AOCs and in Gascony for Vins de Pays Côtes de Gascogne. Also found in California.

Cortese

Cortese is a variety of white wine grape grown primarily in northern Italy. It is most well known in Gavi, Piemonte, where it makes wine called Gavi or "Gavi di Gavi".

Corvina

Corvina is used make red wines. It is mainly grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. Corvina is used with Rondinella, Molinara grapes to make Bardolino, Valpolicella, and Ripasso. And the ultimate blend it goes into is the infamous Amarone.

Courbu

Courbu is the name of three different, but related varieties of wine grapes primarily found in South West France. Petit Courbu and Courbu Blanc are the best known.

Criolla Grande

Criolla Grande (also known as Criolla) is a wine grape commonly found in Argentina. Primarily found in the Mendoza region, the grape has pink skin and is used to produced deeply colored white wine.

Croatina

Croatina is a red wine grape that is grown in Northern Italy, in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna). It's also found in parts of Piedmont and the Veneto.

Crouchen

Crouchen is a variety of white grape. It has its origins in France, although it is now rarely found there. Instead, it is more commonly found in Australia, where it is often referred to as Clare Riesling, though it's not the same as Riesling from Clare Valley. 🤔


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