International

Grape varieties that originated outside Italy or are best known for wines of other countries:

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Alicante
Alicante
Alicante Bouschet
Alicante Bouschet
Barbera
Barbera Native to Piedmont, but now widespread in Italy and internationally. Low in tannin, high in acidity, and deeply purple in color. Aromas & flavors: Tart red fruit (cherry, raspberry), dried herbs, lavender, underbrush, spices. Best DOPs: Barbera d’Asti and Nizza.
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cannonau
Cannonau Cannonau is a genetic match with Garnacha of Spain (Grenache in France and many other countries), as are Tai Rosso and Vernaccia Nera, but all of them have developed in relative isolation for centuries. Light in color. Aromas & flavors: Floral, herbal. Best DOP: Cannonau di Sardegna subzones Oliena, Jerzu, and Capo Ferrato.
Carignano
Carignano Transplanted from Spain centuries ago. Similar or identical to Bovale Grande. Grows best on sandy soils, where it produces creamy wines with soft tannins. Best DOP: Carignano del Sulcis.
Carmenère
Carmenère
Chardonnay
Chenin Blanc
Gamaret
Gamay
Gewürztraminer
Kerner
Kerner
Malbec
Malbec
Malvasia
Malvasia Malvasia: Group of mostly unrelated varieties—17 different “Malvasias” on official list, most white, some red (see Malvasia Nera), one pink (see Malvasia Rosa). Primary white varieties:
  • Malvasia Bianca di Candia: Most-planted Malvasia. Light bodied; high in acidity. Aromas & flavors: White flowers, citrus, green or yellow apple, herbs.
  • Malvasia Bianca Lunga: Primary ingredient (with or without Trebbiano Toscano) in vin santo. Low acidity.
  • Malvasia del Lazio: Aka Malvasia Puntinata. Highest-quality Malvasia. Aromas & flavors: Yellow fruit (peach, mango, banana, passionfruit), sage. Best DOP: Frascati DOC/G. Crossing of Zibibbo and Schiava Grossa.
  • Malvasia di Candia Aromatica: High-quality variety, especially for sweet wines. Aromas & flavors: Aromatic; tropical fruit and spice. Best DOPs: Colli Piacentini DOC, Colli di Parma DOC.
  • Malvasia di Lipari: Primarily used for passito wines. Aromas & flavors: Peach, apricot, honey, orange. Best DOP: Malvasia delle Lipari DOC. Genetically same as Greco Bianco (of Calabria).
  • Malvasia Istriana: Often used for “orange wines.” Minerally. Aromas & flavors: Peach, apricot, pear, wisteria, (with age) diesel. Best DOPs: Carso DOC, Collio DOC, Friuli Isonzo DOC.
Malvasia Nera
Malvasia Nera
Malvasia Rosa
Malvasia Rosa
Marsanne
Marsanne
Merlot
Merlot 144322568-Merlot
Moscato
Moscato Moscato Bianco is the most widespread member and probable progenitor of the international Muscat family, a large and varied group that has two major subtypes, Moscato Bianco (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains) and Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria), as well as pink and red versions—Moscato Rosa and Moscato Nero, respectively. Low acidity. Aromas & flavors: Grapefruit, floral. Best DOP: Asti DOCG.
Moscato Nero
Moscato Nero The Muscat family is a large and varied group that includes the red Moscato Nero as well as pink (Moscato Rosa) and white versions (Muscat of Alexandria aka Zibibbo and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains aka Moscato Bianco.
Moscato Rosa
Moscato Rosa The Muscat family is a large and varied group that has white—Muscat of Alexandria (Zibibbo) and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (Moscato Bianco)—and red versions (Moscato Nero), as well as this intermediate pink subtype.
Müller-Thurgau
Müller-Thurgau
Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot
Petite Arvine
Petite Arvine
Pinot Bianco
Pinot Bianco 153949013-Pinot Bianco
Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio
Pinot Meunier
Pinot Meunier
Pinot Nero
Pinot Nero
Primitivo
Primitivo Essentially the same as Zinfandel (aka Crljenak Kaštelanski or Tribidrag). One of earliest ripening varieties in Italy. High in alcohol. Aromas & flavors: Red cherry, strawberry jam, plum; sometimes tobacco, tar, herbs. Best DOPs: Gioia del Colle DOC, Primitivo di Manduria DOC.
Riesling
Riesling
Roussanne
Roussanne
Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc
Semillon
Semillon
Sylvaner Verde
Sylvaner Verde
Syrah
Syrah
Trebbiano
Trebbiano Grapes-TrebbianoProlific group of several unrelated varieties, all white. The only related ones are (1) Trebbiano Abruzzese and Trebbiano Spoletino and (2) Trebbiano di Lugana and Trebbiano di Soave (which are both in fact Verdicchio). Primary varieties:
  • Trebbiano Abruzzese: The highest-quality Trebbiano (not counting the ones that are actually Verdicchio). High acidity. Aromas & flavors: White flowers, peach, citrus.
  • Trebbiano Toscano: The most-planted Trebbiano. Same as Ugni Blanc, the grape of Cognac. High in acidity. Aromas & flavors: Generally neutral; can be delicately herbal and lemony.
Read more about the genetic relationships here.
Vernaccia Nera
Vernaccia Nera Vernaccia Nera is genetically identical to the Garnacha of Spain (Grenache in France and many other countries), as are Cannonau and Tai Rosso, but all of them have developed in relative isolation for centuries.
Viognier
Viognier
Welschriesling (Riesling Italico)
Welschriesling (Riesling Italico)
Zibibbo
Zibibbo Offspring of Moscato Bianco and member of the large Muscat family of varieties. Aromas & flavors: Apricot, orange blossom, lily of the valley, ginger, dried herbs; (sweet wines) orange jam, caramel, fig, raisin. Best DOP: Pantelleria DOC.

Barbera

Gamaret

Gamay

Kerner

Malbec

Merlot

Moscato

Syrah

Zibibbo