The ultimate A-Z of grapes: V to Z. Phew!
If you're still reading, fair play to you! This series nearly broke me, but was great to put together.
Valdiguié is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, where it is generally known by the alias Gros Auxerrois. In Gaillac it is known as Brocol, and in California it has been known as Napa Gamay. Valdiguié produces dark colored wines that are low in alcohol. The wines tend to be of light to medium body and are frequently made in a style similar to the true Gamay of Beaujolais. Some producers use carbonic maceration in order to produce a wine with a deep, purple-red color and fruity taste, with flavors of berries and black cherry.
One of Spain’s higher quality white grape varieties which languished in obscurity for several hundred years before being rediscovered 15 years ago. It is a native grape of Rueda in North-west Spain and is now its principal white grape variety. Verdejo dominated wines are crisp with soft, creamy, nutty overtones, and sometimes accompanied by notes of honey. Arguably Spain’s finest white grape variety.
Verdelho is a white wine grape grown throughout Portugal, though most associated with the island of Madeira, and also gives its name to one of the four main types of Madeira wine. Verdelho is often confused with Verdelho Tinto, a red grape also grown in Madeira. The grape is also confused with the similarly named Verdelho Feijão of Portugal, the Italian grape Verdello and the Verdejo white grape grown in Spain.
Verdicchio is a variety of white grape grown in the Marche region of Italy and gives its name to the varietal white wine made from it. The name is a derivative of the word “verde” which means green due to its slight green/yellow hue.
Vermentino is a late-ripening white grape originating in Spain or Madeira, or perhaps Portugal, and now widely planted in Corsica, Sardinia, and the coastal arc running from Tuscany through Liguria and into southern France, around Nice (where it is known as Rolle). The most famous wine made from Vermentino is probably the DOCG Vermentino di Gallura which is produced in the province of Olbia-Tempio, in the north of Sardinia
Vernaccia is a white wine grape that is found in many Italian wines but is most commonly associated the Tuscan wine Vernaccia di San Gimignano. It produces crisp wine with good acidity and citrus. fruit.
The white Viognier grape prefers warmer environments and a long growing season, but can grow in cooler areas as well. In France, it’s the single grape permitted the appellations of Condrieu. In the Rhone wine region, the grape is often blended with Roussanne and Marsanne. In the Côte-Rôtie, northern Rhone, it’s blended with Syrah. The highly aromatic and fruit forward nature of the grape allows Viognier to pair well with spicy foods such as Thai cuisine
Vranec is an ancient variety of black grape that is indigenous to the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. Vranec is considered the most important variety of grape in Montenegro and the one of the most important in the Republic of Macedonia. The young Vranec wines have a bright purple hue and a nose full of red berries and fruit jams. Its firm tannin structure provides crispness and richness with medium to high levels of extraction and acidity. After a year or two of ageing the purple develops into an intense dark ruby and the nose develops a more complex aroma that can include hints of cinnamon, chocolate, liquorice, flowers, black fruits, herbs and even woods such as oak. The taste is subtle, round and full, it loses its sharpness and develops a longer and smoother finish.
Xarel·loXarel·lo is a white grape specially grown in Catalonia. With Macabeu and Parellada, is one of the three traditional varieties used to make the Catalonian sparkling wine known as Cava.
Xynomavro is the sole variety permitted under the Naousa and Amyntaio (OPAP) appellations and one of two (with Negoska) under the Goumenissa appellation.
Xynisteri is an indigenous white grape grown on Cyprus. 13% of Cyprus vineyards are planted with this grape variety. It is used in the production of several local (mainly white) wines. Notably, it is blended with Mavro grapes for the production of Commandaria, a well-known Cypriot dessert wine.
Zinfandel makes a robust red wine. The taste of the red wine depends on the ripeness of the grapes from which it is made. Red berry fruits like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas such as the Napa Valley, whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas such as Sonoma County, and in wines made from the earlier-ripening Primitivo clone.
Zweigelt is a red wine grape variety developed in 1922, at the Federal Institute for Viticulture and Pomology at Klosterneuburg, Austria, by Fritz Zweigelt. It is now the most widely-grown red grape variety in Austria, as well as having some presence in Canada’s vineyards. Because of its fruity characteristics, it has been compared to the wines produced from the Gamay grape, like the red wines of Beaujolais.