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Fruity Wines


Taste: Refreshingly fruity with aromas of red and black fruits, followed by flavors of plum, cherry and blackberry.

Body: Light to medium (can be full)

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Drink while young and fresh, but more serious wines age well.

Barbera (bar-BER-ah) is a good quality Italian grape variety that is planted widely across the country. It performs best in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, where it is has been referred to as the ‘people’s wine’ due to its abundant productivity.

It is a relatively late ripening grape and its chief characteristic is it high acidity, which is maintained even when the grapes reach full ripeness. This is a much-appreciated aspect of Barbera and adds to its versatility from the winemaker’s perspective as it can be used to produce wines that range from fresh and spritzy to big and intense.

Traditionally it makes light to medium bodied wines that are deeply coloured, low in tannin and naturally high in acidity, making them bone-dry. They are refreshingly fruity, with aromas of red and black fruits, followed by flavors of plum, cherry and blackberry. In this Fruity style they are intended for early consumption, when they are at their liveliest and best. These are very typical Italian wines with a twist of acidity that makes them very food friendly.

More recently, modern production techniques have been combined with lower yields and barrel ageing to make richer, spicier, more full bodied, varietal wines such as Barbera d’Alba and Barbera d’Asti. These bigger wines exploit Barbera’s natural affinity for oak, which greatly increases the structure and complexity of the wine. These Smooth style Barberas are gaining in popularity and present a more serious side to this traditionally easy-going grape.

Interest in Barbera is increasing worldwide as it performs well in warm climates, retains its acidity and has a deep, rich color. All these attributes make Barbera particularly suitable for blending, as well as for producing good varietal wines.


Taste: Aromas of red fruit, with well developed flavors of cherry, raspberry, strawberry and plum, together with some spicy notes.

Body: Generally light (can be medium to full)

Tannin: Low – medium

Acidity: Medium

Age: Drink while young and fruity.

Bonarda (baw-NAHR-da) is the most widely grown grape variety in Argentina after Malbec. It was thought to be the Italian grape Bonarda Piemontese, with which it shares many characteristics, but is now believed to be the Corbeau grape from the Savoie region of eastern France. It is also considered the same variety as Charbono in California.

In Argentina, Bonarda is primarily used for blending in wines made for domestic consumption, but in recent years its potential as a varietal wine has been realised as more serious winemakers have taken an interest in the grape. This trend, and the increasing recognition of the excellent quality of many Bonarda wines, is bound to increase availability of this interesting grape.

Generally, Bonarda wines are light bodied with moderate acidity and soft tannins. Aromas and flavors of red fruit such as cherry, raspberry, strawberry and plum are well developed and accompanied by some spicy notes. When cultivated with low yields from older vines and carefully crafted with the use of oak, Bonarda can become a big wine with very concentrated fruit flavors.

For now the majority of varietal examples are made in the light and fruity style, but keep a look out for bigger wines, many of which are blends dominated by Bonarda and made in the Smooth style, as they can be seriously good.

Cabernet Franc

Taste: Aromas of red and black fruits with juicy flavors of raspberry, loganberry, blackcurrant, cherry, cedar and bell pepper. Often displays herbaceous qualities and mineral notes.

Body: Light to medium

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Drink within a few years of release, but the finest wines age very well.

Cabernet Franc (ka-ber-nay FRAHN) originated in southwest France and along with Sauvignon Blanc (another French variety), is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. However, in comparison to its robust well-built son, it is lighter, fresher, softer and fruitier.

It is an excellent quality grape, and despite its long history and tradition, it rarely gets the attention and recognition it deserves. However, there are signs that this has begun to change, as the potential of this classic grape has already captured the attention of many progressive winemakers and consumers alike. This is no surprise, because at their best Cabernet Franc wines are delightful and quite delicious.

Cabernet Franc is a cool climate grape with the great benefit of being an early ripener. This is a particularly important attribute in cooler regions, where bad weather conditions during the summer months can prevent many grape varieties achieving full ripeness. In these circumstances Cabernet Franc can be relied upon and may even salvage an otherwise poor vintage.

This is certainly the case in Bordeaux, the homeland of Cabernet Franc, where it is widely grown and blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In poor years when Cabernet Sauvignon fails to fully ripen in Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc plays a more important role in the famous red blends of the region. Its presence in some of these blends may be small in percentage terms, but its impact is significant and it is an essential component in the wines of many of the great Châteaux.

However, it is further north, in the cooler Loire Valley, where Cabernet Franc is at its best. Here it produces delicious light to medium bodied varietal wines with red and black fruit aromas and juicy flavors of raspberry, loganberries, blackcurrant, cherry, cedar and bell pepper. They also often display herbaceous qualities, as well as distinct mineral notes. Tannins are generally light and acidity high, making them suitable to be served slightly chilled.

The finest wines from the Loire show great elegance, balance and class, and are amongst the best wines made in France, even though they generally receive relatively little attention. But now this is beginning to change as cooler climate regions across the globe discover the qualities of Cabernet Franc and have set out, with some notable successes, to emulate the best wines from the Loire Valley.

The importance of Cabernet Franc can only increase, especially in cooler climate regions, and we have much to look forward to as it realises its international potential.


Taste: Fruit forward and lively with pronounced aromas of red fruits, followed by flavors of strawberry, raspberry, morello cherry and pomegranate, as well as a white pepper spiciness and a savory quality. Cinsault is almost always confined to a supporting role in blends.

Body: Light to medium (can be full with low yield / old vines)

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Most blended wines, and the rarer varietals, should be enjoyed within a few years of release.

Aka: Known as Ottavianello in Italy, occasionally as Blue Imperial in Australia and was traditionally called Hermitage in South Africa.

Cinsault (SAN-soh), also spelt Cinsaut, is an ancient variety that almost certainly originated in southeast France, where it still has a large presence today. Its main claim to fame is that it is one of the parents of the signature South African grape Pinotage, the other being Pinot Noir (Cinsault used to be called Hermitage in South Africa, hence the name).

It has an unfair reputation for poor quality due to the fact that it is normally grown to exploit its highly productive nature, and consequently yields are high – as yield increases quality decreases and more so than usual in the case of Cinsault.

As well as being very productive it is also heat tolerant and drought resistant, making it ideally suited to hot climate conditions. In comparison to other varieties it has a short growing season, given that it buds late and ripens early. Its berries are large, fleshy and thin skinned, also making it very suitable as an eating grape.

Due to the fact that acidity is high and tannins are low, Cinsault is almost always used for blending as it can soften more tannic wines and add a refreshing quality – these characteristics also make it excellent for producing Rosé wines. The body is light to medium, depending on yields, but can be more substantial when produced from old vines.

Only rarely is it made as a varietal wine and then only when yields are restricted or the vines are old. These varietal wines are very fruit forward and lively with pronounced aromas of red fruits, followed by flavors of strawberry, raspberry, morello cherry and pomegranate, as well as a white pepper spiciness and a savory quality that can be very reminiscent of good Beaujolais Cru.

Generally, Cinsault is blended with Grenache, Carignan and / or Syrah and plays a supporting, rather than a leading, role. Blended wines containing Cinsault, and the rarer varietal wines, are best enjoyed within a few years of release.

Corvina (Standard)

Taste: Cherry-scented aroma, with hints of almond and herbs, leads to a dominant sour cherry flavour and a slightly bitter finish, which is very refreshing.

Body: Light

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Drink while young and fruity.

Other: Main component of Bardolino and Valpolicella wines.

Corvina (kor-VEE-nuh) is an Italian grape variety from the Veneto region in the northeast of Italy, where it is the main variety used in the production of Bardolino and Valpolicella wines – the other varieties in these wines being Rondinella and Molinara. The higher the proportion of Corvina in the blend (which is allowed up to a maximum of 70%) the better the wine will generally be.

There are considerable variations in style, but the majority of these wines are light in body with low tannins and high acidity. They have a cherry-scented aroma, with hints of almond and herbs. The dominant red fruit flavor is that of sour cherry and it can give a slightly bitter finish to the wine, which is very refreshing.

Bardolino is generally a light and simple wine, but Valpolicella is much more interesting, especially those labeled Valpolicella Classico DOC. These wines have a more floral and cherry-scented aroma, with concentrated fruit flavors and a greater complexity.

The vast majority of Bardolino and Valpolicella wines described above are made in the standard way – that is, harvesting of the grapes when ripe, followed by fermentation and maturation. However, a small quantity of much bigger and more complex wines are also made by a technique known as Passito (see an explanation of Passito in the glossary section of the app), where the grapes are semi-dried for several weeks or months after the harvest.

This process greatly concentrates the sugars and flavors of the grapes, which then go through fermentation and maturation to make three wonderful versions of Valpolicella called AmaroneRecioto and Ripasso.  For details of these wines, see Corvina (Semi-Dried) in the Powerful style.


Taste: Aromas of black and red fruits with vibrant flavors of black cherry and plum, together with bitter almond and hints of licorice.

Body: Light to medium

Tannin: Medium to high (but soft)

Acidity: Low to medium

Age: Drink while young and fruity.

Dolcetto (dol-CHETT-oh) is grown almost exclusively in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy, where it is enjoyed as an everyday wine. Its origins are uncertain, but it has been grown in Piedmont since at least the 16th century and is widely planted there today.

It is an easy grape to grow and ripens very early, which makes it ideal for cultivation on higher and cooler sites where other varieties might fail to ripen fully. Consequently, Dolcetto tends to be planted on the poorer sites, with the best being kept for Nebbiolo and Barbera (the two red wines stars of Piedmont).

In spite of its name (which means ‘Little Sweet One”), Dolcetto is normally vinified as a dry wine. The name, therefore, may refer to the grape’s relatively low level of acidity, rather than its sugar levels, which make it appear sweet relative to grapes with much higher acidity.

The wine is deeply colored, light to medium in body, with vibrant black cherry and plum flavors, together with bitter almond and hints of licorice, followed by a characteristically Italian bitter-sweet finish. While tannins are medium to high (but soft) and acidity is generally moderate, these wines are still quite brisk and vivid.

Only rarely is Dolcetto blended in Piedmont, so the wines you encounter will almost always be pure varietals. In addition to standard Dolcetto wines, there is also a Superiore classification, which requires qualifying wines to have a minimum alcohol level of 12.5% and to be aged in bottle for at least a year.

Since the turn of this century there has been a growing trend amongst some winemakers to make bigger and richer Dolcetto wines that are aged in oak and high in alcohol. These non-traditional wines are produced to meet the consumer demand for hefty wines with a bigger structure and profile. While there is nothing wrong with these wines, they do not deliver the easy going and refreshing drinking style that Dolcetto is so well known for.

Traditional Dolcetto is intended to be consumed young, within a year or two of release, when its intense fruit flavors are at their best. They are most refreshing wines, with a pleasant sharp finish, and make an excellent pairing with Italian cuisine. An additional benefit is that these wines are modestly priced.

Dolcetto is a simple, enjoyable, everyday wine and when it’s well made, it is truly delicious.


Taste: Aromas of bramble and red fruits lead to flavors of fresh cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant and plum.

Body: Light (can be medium to full)

Tannin: Low

Acidity: Medium

Age: Drink while young and fruity.

Other: While most Dornfelder is dry, some are made off-dry (sweet to taste).

Dornfelder (DORN-fell-der) is a German grape variety developed as recently as 1955 by crossing the varieties Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, which are themselves crossings of other vines, but it was only approved for cultivation in 1979. It was named after Imanuel Dronfeld who founded Germany’s first Viticultural School in 1868.

Dornfelder was bred to develop a grape with specific qualities suitable to Germany’s cool climate and it has since proved itself to be the country’s most successful red crossing. It is easy to grow, high yielding, disease resistant, has great depth of color, good acidity and the ability to take to oak, if required. These attributes have made it very popular with winemakers, particularly its deep red color (the flesh of the grape is red) which contrasts with traditionally pale German reds.

Most Dornfelder is easy going, everyday red wine that is light in body, with low tannins and crisp acidity (note: while the majority are dry some are made off-dry). Aromas of bramble and red fruits lead to flavors of fresh cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant and plum. In this Fruity style Dornfelder is very approachable, with a youthful fruit character, much like young Beaujolais (see Gamay grape variety in the Fruity style).

Some producers however have opted to reduce yields and produce bigger, full bodied wines that are fermented and / or aged in oak to increase the wines’ tannin and structure. These bigger, Smooth style, wines have a great deal more substance and depth.

Gamay (Beaujolais)

Taste: Aromas of red fruit, banana and a hint of spice, give way to prominent flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry.

Body: Light to medium

Tannin: Low

Acidity: Medium to high

Age: Most should be drunk while young and fruity, but the best wines can improve with age.

Gamay (ga-MAY), or to give it its full French name Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, is synonymous with the Beaujolais wine region, just north of Lyon in eastern France. It is believed to have arrived in the Beaujolais village of Gamay, from Germany, in the middle of the 14th century. More recently, DNA analysis has revealed that it is a cross between a Pinot Noir clone and an obscure grape called Gouais Blanc. This means, therefore, that Gamay is related to varieties such as Aligoté, Chardonnay, and Lemberger (Blaufränkisch).

In the vineyard, Gamay is vigorous, ripens early and thrives in the granite soils of Beaujolais. Tannins are low and acidity is naturally high in the grape. Flavor profiles are dominated by red fruits, which can be intensified during the wine making process through the technique of carbonic maceration (see the glossary for a full explanation). The wines are light to medium bodied (can occasionally be full), relatively low in alcohol and are typically light and delicate with a lovely refreshing quality.

Aromas of red fruit, banana, a hint of spice, and sometimes candy or bubblegum, give way to prominent red fruit flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. The lightest wine is Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released in early November after the harvest and is made to be consumed young, when it is at its best. While this wine is something of a novelty, its quality is usually quite good.

The highest quality wines come from ten villages collectively known as Beaujolais Crus, as they each have been given “Cru” status and have their own individual appellations. The wines they make can be truly delicious and those of each village display a different character – anecdotally, Fleurie is known as the “Queen of Beaujolais” and Moulin-à-Vent as the “King of Beaujolais”. Details of the ten Cru villages are included in Gamay’s regional section in the app.

Often overlooked, the Beaujolais Crus are amongst the best wines France has to offer, which is saying something. Some of the Beaujolais Cru can improve with bottle age, but generally, Gamay wines should be consumed when young and fruity. The lightest wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, is best served slightly chilled and consumed as soon as possible after release.


Taste: Light and refreshing with aromas of red berries and violets, followed by flavors of fresh strawberries, red cherries and a satisfying bitter almond twist on the finish.

Body: Light

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Drink as soon as possible after release.

Other: These wines are frizzante, slightly fizzy. Traditional Lambrusco is dry, called Secco in Italian (Amabile is medium-sweet and Dolce is sweet). Lambrusco wines are relatively low in alcohol. Only buy bottles with a cork, not a screw cap.

Lambrusco (lahm-BROOS-sko) is the name of both a grape variety, and the wine made from it, in the Emilia-Romagna region of central Italy. This grape variety has a long history going back to Roman times and consequently there are many sub-varieties.

The first thing to note about Lambrusco wine is that there are basically two types: traditional Lambrusco which is dry, fruity, refreshing, sealed with a cork stopper and produced for local consumption; and secondly a mass-produced, bland, sweetened wine sealed in screw-capped bottles for the export market. Always select the former, so look for a cork and not a screw cap.

The second point to note is that Lambrusco is what the Italians call frizzante, slightly fizzy, but not quite sparkling – which they call spumante. This gives the wines an additional refreshing quality. Lambrusco is a great food wine and has been developed over time to match local cuisine. While basically a simple wine its appeal lies in its light, fresh and flavorsome character.

Aromas of red berries and violets are followed by flavors of fresh strawberries, red cherries and a refreshing, slightly bitter, almond twist on the finish. The best wines are very attractive, relatively low in alcohol, and all are made for immediate consumption, as they taste best soon after release.

White Lambrusco, called Lambrusco Bianco, is also made from these red grapes by removing the skins immediately after pressing. Some Rosé is also made.

Lemberger (Blaufränkisch)

Taste: Aromas of red and black fruit with pronounced flavors of red cherry, redcurrant, plum and blackberry, along with the spiciness of black pepper.

Body: Light to medium

Tannin: Medium

Acidity: Medium to high

Age: Drink while young and fruity.

Aka: Also known as Blaufränkisch in Austria, Kékfrankos in Hungary and as Frankovka in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Lemberger is sometimes spelt Limberger.

Lemberger (LEHM-ber-ger) is a very good quality grape, which probably originated in the Danube River Valley and is widely grown in Central Europe, especially Austria where it is known as Blaufränkisch. Modern DNA analysis has revealed that Lemberger is related to Gamay and Pinot Noir, as well as the white grape Aligoté, through a common descendant called Gouais Blanc. In the 1920s Lemberger was crossed with St. Laurent to create Zweigelt (see Zweigelt entry in the Fruity style), Austria’s most planted red grape variety.

Lemberger is a late ripening grape best suited to moderate climates, but does well in the warmer areas of cooler climate zones as long as temperatures are not too cool in the summer months. If the grapes fail to ripen fully the wines will display vegetal aromas and flavors, such as green bell pepper.

Lemberger can be a wine of real character and generally produces zesty, light red wines with medium tannins and crisp acidity. It has quite intense red and black fruit flavors of red cherry, redcurrant, plum and blackberry, along with the spiciness of black pepper. Good examples are very attractive and racy with lovely fruit concentration and balance reminiscent of Beaujolais Cru (see the Gamay grape variety in the Fruity style).

There is a tendency among some winemakers to go a step further and to ferment, and also age, Lemberger in oak to produce bigger wines, which emphasise the grape’s spiciness. This approach is more international in its appeal and produces very good Smooth style wines.

Fruity Lembergers are best served slightly chilled and should be consumed while they are young and fresh.


Taste: Light and refreshing with aromas of red and black fruits giving way to flavors of raspberry, cherry, plum and blackcurrant, which can be accompanied by mineral, spicy and herbal notes.

Body: Light to medium

Tannin: Medium

Acidity: Medium to high

Age: At its best when young and fresh.

Aka: Also known as Jaen in Portugal.

Mencia (men-THEE-ah) is a high quality grape from Northwest Spain, which is now receiving a great deal of attention in its home country, as well as internationally. It is another example of the richness of Spain’s viticulture, which frequently reveals exciting lesser-known grape varieties.

The change in the fortunes of Mencia are largely due to the efforts of one of Spain’s top winemakers, Alvaro Palacios, who had the vision to see the enormous potential of this indigenous Spanish grape and the pioneering spirit to make it a reality. His success has prompted a revival of Mencia, which is primarily grown in the northwest regions of Galicia and Castile-León.

Although in the past Mencia was mistakenly thought to be related to Cabernet Franc – it does display much of the quality and elegance of this grape – modern DNA analysis has shown that it is genetically identical to the Portuguese grape variety Jaen.

Mencia is a difficult grape to grow as it is susceptible to diseases, such as mildew. It has good natural acidity and although it is thick-skinned tannins are generally moderate. It takes well to oak, but is better without any oak contact when wines are made in the Fruity style.

Mencia makes light and refreshing reds with moderate tannins and good acidity. Aromas and flavors of red and black fruits such as raspberry, cherry, plum and blackcurrant can be accompanied by mineral, spicy and herbal notes. At their best they are lusciously fruity, full of charm, and are made to be consumed while they are young and fresh.

Wines made from older vines and given oak treatment are deeper, more substantial with a fuller body and profile. These serious Smooth style wines can have great complexity and are amongst the best wines made in Spain.

Pinot Noir (Light)

Taste: Very light, delicate and refreshing, with aromas of fresh red fruit followed by soft and subtle flavors of strawberry, raspberry and cherry.

Body: Light

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Drink while young and fruity.

Aka: Also known as Blauburgunder in Austria.

While classic Pinot Noir (PEE-noh NWAHR) is generally medium bodied with complex flavors – see classic Pinot Noir in the Smooth style – there are many fine examples made in the lighter Fruity style. In many respects Pinot Noir is well suited to this style as the grape is naturally low in tannin and high in acidity.

The flavours are soft and subtle, with red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry and cherry dominating. As well as being light in body, these wines are also light in colour and can have very fine structure. Due to their natural high acidity and light fruity style they are very refreshing and are generally best when young, within a year or two of release.

These light Pinot Noirs are ideal for drinking during the warm summer months and often benefit when served slightly chilled. They are also excellent food wines, especially when paired with lighter dishes. Well made examples are very elegant and a great addition to your wine repertoire.

Schiava (Vernatsch / Trollinger)

Taste: Aromas of red berries with notes of almonds, herbs and violets are followed by flavors of raspberry, strawberry and cherry, leading to a refreshing bitter almond – and sometimes slightly spicy – finish. Many can also display delicate mineral and earthy notes.

Body: Light

Tannin: Low

Acidity: Low to medium

Age: Drink while young and fresh. The best wines have an aging potential ranging from 2 to 5 years.

Aka: Also known as Vernatsch (fehr-NAHCH) in northern Italy and Trollinger (traw-ling-er) in southern Germany.

Schiava (SKEE-AH-vah) is believed to have originated in the northern Italian region of Alto Adige, and is widely grown there today, as well as in neighboring Trentino. The earliest recorded reference to the grape is from the 13th century, but its presence in the region is likely to date back to at lease Roman times, and probably earlier. This northern region of Italy, incorporating Trentino-Alto Adige, is also known as the Südtirol (South Tyrol) and was part of Austria up to the end of the First World War.

The Austrian influence is still very prominent today, to the extent that much of the region is predominantly German speaking. Consequently, many towns have a German, as well as an Italian, name and this is reflected in wine labels, which may be written in Italian or German, or both. There is also a local Ladin language, whose origin dates back to a time when Roman soldiers settled in remote valleys in this region.

Schiava is the Italian name for the grape, which means “slave” and may refer to “Slavic”, leading some to believe that the grape could have originated further to the east. The German name given to the grape in this region is Vernatsch, meaning “vernacular”, and indicates that it is probably of local origin. At some time in the past the grape arrived in the southern regions of Germany, possibly brought by the Romans or by monks during the Middle Ages, and was given the name Trollinger, which appears to be a corruption of the word Tirolinger meaning of, or from, the Tirol.

There are several clones of Schiava in the Trentino-Alto Adige region. The best wines are produced by the Schiava Grigia (Grauvernatsch) clone, which is difficult to grow, and the lower yielding Schiava Gentile (Kleinvernatsch) and Tschaggel (Tschaggelvernatsch) clones. The most commonly planted clone is the higher yielding and somewhat less distinguished Schiava Grossa (Grossvernatsch). Generally, Schiava is vigorous and therefore needs to be well managed in the vineyard to ensure that yields are kept in check to maintain quality.

The grapes are thin-skinned and tannin is naturally low. Acidity is low to medium, but can be elevated if yields are allowed to get too high. The wines are light in body, with a soft texture and usually have a pale ruby color (can be as pale as a Rosé). Aromas of red berries with notes of almonds, herbs and violets are followed by flavors of raspberry, strawberry and cherry, leading to a refreshing bitter almond – and sometimes slightly spicy – finish. Many can also display delicate mineral and earthy notes.

These wines from Trentino-Alto Adige are unpretentious, easy drinking and intended to be consumed soon after release, when they are young and fresh. At their best, from producers such as Kellerei Nals Margreid, they are elegant, refined and absolutely delicious, as well as representing exceptional value for money. They are also excellent during the warm summer months, as they can be served slightly chilled. These wines have often been compared with those from Beaujolais in France (see Gamay in the Fruity style), and while this comparison is valid, they do have their own individual character.

In Trentino-Alto Adige, Schiava is often blended with the more robust local Lagrein variety (see Lagrein in the Smooth style) and makes very highly regarded Rosé. In the southern German region of Württemberg, Trollinger– the name the Germans have given to Schiava – is the most planted red grape variety. The light wines it produces here are generally made slightly sweet and much of the harvest is devoted to Rosé. Most Württemberg wines are consumed within the region and, therefore, very few are exported.

It is interesting to note that Schiava, along with Riesling, is one of the parents of Kerner (see Kerner in the Aromatic style), which was developed in Württemberg in 1929 by crossing these two varieties.


Taste: Light and very refreshing, with aromas of red berries and a hint of spice, followed by juicy flavors of raspberry, redcurrant and cherry and a fresh, dry finish.

Body: Light

Tannin: Low

Acidity: High

Age: Drink within two years of vintage.

Other: Serve chilled, like a Rosé.

Tarrango (ta-rang-go) is a unique Australian red grape variety developed in 1965 by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in the State of Victoria. They wanted to create a light bodied, fruity red wine with low tannins and good acidity that would ripen slowly in the hot Australian climate.

So they cross bred the high quality Portuguese red variety Touriga Nacional (included in the Powerful style) with the white table grape Sultana (also known as Thompson Seedless) and named this new grape after the township of Tarrango in northwest Victoria. Faithful to its design, Tarrango is late ripening and retains excellent acidity in warm climatic conditions. However, it is a high yielding grape so vineyard management to restrict yields is important.

Tarrango produces very refreshing wines that are low in tannin and very light in color, almost Rosé like, which makes them ideal for summer drinking. Aromas of red berries and a hint of spice are followed by juicy flavors of raspberry, redcurrant and cherry and a fresh, dry finish. It is a light and very easy-drinking wine that delivers refreshment with flavour and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The main, almost sole, producer of Tarrango is the renowned winemaker Brown Brothers who have been producing wines in Victoria since 1889. In recent years they have introduced the Beaujolais practice of carbonic maceration, which adds some complexity and additional flavor during fermentation and typically up to 20% of the finished wine will go through this process. It is no surprise therefore that Tarrango has been compared to lighter Beaujolais wines (made from the Gamay grape, included in the Fruity style).

As tannins are low this is not a wine that will age well and is intended to be drunk while it’s young and fresh, ideally within two years of release. It is best served chilled and as well as being very food friendly, it also makes a great aperitif.


Taste: Aromas of red berries, dried fruits and violets are followed by flavors of cherry, cranberry, blackberry and plum, with a refreshing bitter almond note on the finish.

Body: Generally light (can be medium or full)

Tannin: Low to medium

Acidity: Medium to high

Age: Drink within a few years of release.

Other: With low yields and oak aging it can be made in the Powerful style.

Teroldego (teh-RAHL-deh-go) is a very high quality grape variety grown almost exclusively in Trentino, which is the southern half of Italy’s most northerly wine region: Trentino-Alto Adige. Its origins are obscure, but it has a good pedigree as it has been shown to be genetically related to Syrah and it is one of the parents of Lagrein (see Lagrein in the Smooth style).

In Trentino it is grown in the gravel rich soils of the Rotaliano plain where yields are generally high resulting in light bodied, fruity wines with good acidity and soft tannins. These wines are often compared to Beaujolais Crus (see the Gamay grape variety in the Fruity style) and can be quite elegant and delicious. Expect aromas of red berries, dried fruits and violets with flavors of cherry, cranberry, blackberry and plum, as well as a refreshing bitter almond note on the finish.

However, there is another side to Teroldego. When yields are kept low, tannins allowed to fully ripen and the wines are aged in oak their structure and complexity are transformed. Now these wines become full bodied and Powerful in style with deeper, riper fruit flavors, combined with spice and smoky notes from oak contact. They still retain good acidity and the tannins support their firm structure. Made in this style Teroldego is a big wine, which is sometimes compared to Zinfandel (see Zinfandel in the Powerful style).