These grapes are gradually being made in more sustainable ways, which can be done in several ways which significantly impact the environment.
There are over 10,000 different wine grapes currently in the world, most of which we would never have heard of. Of these ten thousand, only a handful of grapes are known and grown worldwide, with many of them being produced more sustainably. With that being said, here are four well-known wine grapes, and how they are moving towards more sustainable practices.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic red wine that is grown in most wine regions of the world. While it is most famous for leading the famous Bordeaux-style blends, they are also used as single varieties in other countries like Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
Typically, the grape offer notes of cherries, currants, spices, and cedar (if it is oaked). The flavors, structure, and grippy tannin make the variety perfect for pairing with dishes like lamb, beef, and firm cheeses like Pecorino.
Merlot is another classic red that made its debut in Bordeaux blends. However, since the grape is so versatile, it can thrive in a range of different growing conditions. The grape’s tannins are generally less intense than a Cabernet Sauvignon’s and offer more fruitiness. The grape is almost most famous in the Bordeaux region but is grown worldwide in both old and new world countries.
Typically, the wine’s smoothness and red fruit flavors make it the ideal wine for dishes like veal, pork, chicken, and easier meals like burgers.
There are thousands of different wine grapes, with only a handful of well-known ones
Chardonnay is a highly well-known white variety that has two distinct styles. Chardonnay used to be heavily oaked and full-bodied, which was hard to enjoy without a meal. However, more recently, producers have opted for a lighter, easier-drinking approach where the wines are barely oaked.
With both styles, you can expect vibrant yellow fruits like lemons, pear, apples, and pineapples. When oaked, you can expect more layered flavors of butterscotch, caramel, smoke, and vanilla. These wines pair exceptionally well with seafood dishes, but the style determines which seafood dishes work best. The wooded styles work best with the creamier dishes, like seafood pasta. However, oysters, lobster, or shrimp go best with the lighter, unoaked styles.
Sauvignon Blanc is most renowned for its lightness, freshness, and high acidity. The wine is most commonly associated with light and easy-drinking summer wines. This is another French grape that expanded to other countries, where it has become a staple wine.
In South Africa, Sauvignon Blanc is a national favorite and is enjoyed by most wine drinkers.
The flavors range from citrus, gooseberries, grass, and bell pepper to exotic fruits like kiwi and guava. These flavors differ depending on the climate the grape grows. And since these wines are naturally high in acidity, pair these wines with lighter, fresh dishes like salads, roasted chicken, pork, and fish.
Growing These Common Grapes Sustainably
As the trend toward sustainable wine continues to climb, we must consider how these different types of grapes can be grown and produced sustainably. Sustainable winemaking aims to not only protect the natural environment throughout the process but also support the social and economic factors. All these factors include using eco-friendly products, maintaining biodiversity, conserving water, and using renewable energy.
There are several actions winemakers and vintners can take to ensure they are able to meet the global demand for these popular grapes while still taking the environment into consideration.
For instance, wineries use large amounts of water to clean the cellars, tanks, and bottles, which should be recycled and reused in the vineyard or winery. There are many ways to incorporate biodiversity and organic farming in most vineyards, which should become a norm for most wineries. And consumers should become aware of (and demand) fair trade and proper compensation for farmworkers, especially in underprivileged wine countries.
Fortunately, customers are demanding more sustainable products, leading to more organic, biodynamic, natural, eco-friendly, and socially conscious winemaking. They might not alter the wines’ aromas or flavors but definitely affect everything around them.
There are thousands of different wine grapes, with only a handful of well-known ones.
These grapes, along with many others, are being grown and made in more sustainable ways.
Sustainable winemaking can include everything from the vineyard to the winemaking and workforce.