Varietal Articles

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Revision 25; edited by Kropp1 on 2/14/2020

Composed of 60 % Sauvignon blanc and 40 % Semillon.

Revision 14; edited by SARTORI on 2/9/2020

Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the most famous red wine grape variety on Earth. It is rivaled in this regard only by its Bordeaux stablemate Merlot, and its opposite number in Burgundy, Pinot Noir. From its origins in Bordeaux, Cabernet has successfully spread to almost every winegrowing country in the world. It is now the key grape variety in many first-rate New World wine regions, most notably Napa Valley, Coonawarra and Maipo Valley. Wherever they come from, Cabernet Sauvignon wines always seem to demonstrate a handful of common character traits: deep color, good tannin structure, moderate acidity and aromas of blackcurrant, tomato leaf, dark spices and cedarwood.

Used as frequently in blends as in varietal wines, Cabernet Sauvignon has a large number of common blending partners. Apart from the obvious Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the most prevalent of these are Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere (the ingredients of a classic Bordeaux Blend), Shiraz (in Australia's favorite blend) and in Spain and South America, a Cabernet – Tempranillo blend is now commonplace. Even the bold Tannat-based wines of Madiran are now generally softened with Cabernet Sauvignon

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Trebbiano d'Abruzzo is the Abruzzo region of Central Italy's dry white wine appellation partner to its iconic red, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. It is the only DOC in Abruzzo specializing exclusively in white wine.

According to the official DOC laws, a Trebbiano d'Abruzzo wine must be made from at least 85 to 100 percent of Trebbiano Toscano or Trebbiano Abruzzese or a combination of the two grapes. The latter is a distinct variety from the former and as its name suggests the more traditional local option. It is often called by the name of the appellation. Alternately up to 85 percent of Bombino Bianco can be used; this and the Trebbiano Abruzzese grape variety are thought by some to be identical, but DNA profiling has as yet failed to confirm this. The degree to which wineries across the Abruzzo region have correctly identified their vines is unsurprisingly open to question.

Varietal: Red Blend

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merlot syrah port blend

Varietal: Chardonnay

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Varietal: Pinot Noir

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Varietal character (Appellation America) | Varietal article (Wikipedia)
Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. It is believed to have been selected from wild vines two thousand years ago. It is also used in the production of champagne. In fact, more Pinot Noir goes into Champagne than is used in all of the Cote d'Or! It is also grown in Alsace, Jura, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, and so forth, with varying degrees of success.

Pinot Noir is one of the world's most prestigious grapes. It is very difficult to grow and thrives well in France, especially in Champagne and Burgundy. Pinot Noir thrives less in hot areas, is picky on soil, and deserves some oak storage.

Pinot Noir, or Blauburgunder / Spätburgunder in German, is a blue grapevine - and, as the German name suggests, the grape comes originally from Burgundy in France.

The grape, which thrives in calcareous soils, is used primarily for the production of red wine, and it is widely regarded as producing some of the best wines in the world. The wine style is often medium-bodied with high fruit acidity and soft tannins. It can be quite peculiar in fragrance and taste, and not least in structure - which may be why it is referred to as "The Grapes Ballerina".
Pinot Noir is also an important ingredient in sparkling wines, not least in champagne since it is fruity, has good acidity and contains relatively little tannins.
The grape is considered quite demanding to grow. The class itself consists of tightly packed grapes, which makes it more sensitive to rot and other diseases.

Pinot Noir changes quite easily and is genetically unstable. It buds and matures early which results in it often being well ripened. Climate is important for this type of grape. It likes best in cool climates - in warm climates the wines can be relaxed and slightly pickled.
In cooler climates, the wine can get a hint of cabbage and wet leaves, while in slightly warmer regions we often find notes of red berries (cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants), roses and slightly green notes when the wine is young. With age, more complex aromas of forest floor, fungi and meat emerge.

In Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary, it often produces light wines with less character. However, it has produced very good results in California, Oregon and New Zealand.

With its soft tannins and delicate aroma, it is excellent for white fish, chicken and light meat. For the stored wines you can serve small game. Classic duck breast is a matter of course, a Boeuf Burgundy and Pinot Noir are pure happiness.

Pinot Noir loses quality by over-harvesting.
Pinot Noir is prone to diseases, especially rot and mildew. Viruses cause major problems especially in Burgundy.
Pinot Noir are large round grapes with thin skins. Relatively high in alcohol content. Medium rich tannins and good with acid.
As a young person, Pinot Noir has a distinctly fruity character such as raspberries, cherries and strawberries.
A mature Pinot Noir, the taste is different. Cherry goes into plum and prune flavors. It smells of rotten leaves, coffee, moist forest floor and animal wine. This must be experienced.
In warm climates you find boiled plum, some rustic, little acid.
If the grapes are over-grown, the wine will be thin, with little color and flavor.

Varietal: Barbera

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Varietal character (Appellation America)
Varietal character (Wikipedia German)
Varietal character (Wikipedia English)
Barbera is a red wine variety, originally from Italy, which is best known as the second-most important Piedmontese variety after Nebbiolo. The wines made of this grape are mainly the everyday drinking wines of the region. The main appellations producing Barbera are Asti and Alba.

Barbera - The most widely grown red wine grape of Piedmont and Southern Lombardy, most famously around the towns of Asti and Alba, and Pavia. The wines of Barbera were once simply "what you drank while waiting for the Barolo to be ready." With a new generation of wine makers, this is no longer the case. The wines are now meticulously vinified, aged Barbera gets the name "Barbera Superiore" (Superior Barbera), sometimes aged in French barrique becoming "Barbera Barricato", and intended for the international market. The wine has bright cherry fruit, a very dark color, and a food-friendly acidity.

Varietal: Teran

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Teran is an indigenous Slovenian wine, produced on the Carst Plateau, located in the South-West Slovenia and the easternmost part of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy. Teran is produced from Refosco grape, the difference in name comes from the fact, that because of the specific Karst soil the wine has a greater presence of acidity than a normal wine would. Terans colour is of a deep dark red, almost impenetrable to light, with high presence of tannins. Its aromas are fruity, harmonic, resembling forest fruits. Relatively high content of acids and a slight note of tartness, together with high extract, adds to this wine a typical taste of a full, strong and robust but at the same time pleasantly crafted wine. Because of its characteristic fullness and high contents of polyphenols (tannin, anthocyane) it is considered to have healthy qualities.

The Istrian grape that was allowed by the EU Commision to be called Teran, though this can be denied by historical facts and scientific research, wich conclude that it is not a different species of grape but the same Refosco grape, can be differentiated from Karst teran on the label, because the "Croatian Istra" name must be larger than the "Teran" name.

Varietal: Merlot

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Varietal: White Blend

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Treixadura, Godello, Albariño

Varietal: Vermentino

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Pinot Noir

Varietal: Fruit Blend

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Strawberry Wine

Varietal: Romorantin

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The Romorantin variety has been grown in the Loire Valley since the reign of King Francis I in the sixteenth century. Wines made with this variety are often described as having a mineral flavor, and are crisply acidic. DNA printing revealed that Romorantin (like Chardonnay and Aligote) stems from a cross of Gouais Blanc (a Croatian grape) and Pinot. Romorantin is grown exclusively in the Cour-Cheverny appellation outside of Tours, and while most of the vines were pulled to make way for more popular varieties,
limited amounts of the grape are still in production and are being preserved.

See article 9/26/16 Jacqueline Friedrich:

Varietal: Syrah

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Varietal: Grain

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Varietal: Carignan Blend

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Old Carignane (70%)
Old Grenache noir (30%)

Varietal: Ugni Blanc

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Folle Blanche and Baco

Varietal: Port Blend

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Over a hundred varieties of grapes (castas) are sanctioned for port production, although only five (Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional) are widely cultivated and used.
- Mayson (1999), Port and the Douro, p. 93

Varietal: Malbec Blend

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Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

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Varietal: Lemon

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Varietal: Sangiovese

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SANGIOVESE: (Pronounced "sahn-joh-vhe-se").
Sangiovese - Italy's claim to fame, the pride of Tuscany. Traditionally made, the wines are full of cherry fruit, earth, and cedar. It produces Chianti (Classico), Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano, Montefalco Rosso, and many others. Sangiovese is also the backbone in many of the acclaimed, modern-styled "Super-Tuscans", where it is blended with Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc) and typically aged in French oak barrels, resulting a wine primed for the international market in the style of a typical California cabernet: oaky, high-alcohol, and a ripe, jammy, fruit-forward profile.[16]

Semi-classic grape grown in the Tuscany region of Italy. Used to produce the Chianti and other Tuscan red wines. Has many clonal versions, two of which seem to predominate. The Sangiovese Grosso clone Brunello variety is used for the dark red, traditionally powerful and slow-maturing "Brunello di Montalcino" wine. The other is the Sangiovese Piccolo, also known under the historical synonym name Sangioveto, used for standard Chianti Classico DOC wines. Old vine derived wine is often used in the better versions, needing several years ageing to reach peak. A third clone, Morellino, is used in a popular wine blend with the same name found in the southern part of the province. Recent efforts in California with clones of this variety are very promising, producing medium-bodied reds with rich cherry or plumlike flavors and aromas. Among the available clonal versions are R6 and R7, derived from the Montalcino region of Italy, having average productivity/ripening and producing small berries on medium size clusters. R10 and R24 are well-recommended. R23, listed as deriving from the Emilia-Romagna region, has good vigor with medium-small clusters with earlier ripening. R102 derives from the Montepulciano region and reported to have average vigor with moderate productivity that results in higher sugar levels and good acidity from medium-small berries on medium-small clusters. Has synonym name of Nielluccio where grown in Corsica.

Varietal: Red Rhone Blend

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Read about the different grapes used to produce red and white Rhone wines
On CellarTracker, Red Rhone Blend is the term for a wine consisting of two or more of the traditional 13 Southern Rhone grape varieties. Typically it's the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre or Cinsault grapes, but can also contain the Muscardin, Counoise, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Roussanne, Terret Noir, Picardan or Vaccarese grapes.

A 'food' wine. Lacking pretension and intended for local consumption with local cuisine. Lacks the 'high' notes on a Bordeaux, more earthy and sharper so often a better partner to meat dishes with a sauce.

Varietal: Flora

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Varietal: Furmint

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About Furmint

Furmint is a white Hungarian wine grape variety that is most noted widely grown in the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region where it is used to produce single-varietal dry wines as well as being the principal grape in the better known Tokaji dessert wines. It is also grown in the tiny Hungarian wine region of Somló. Furmint plays a similar role in the Slovakian wine region of Tokaj. It is also grown in Austria where it is known as Mosler. Smaller plantings are found in Slovenia where it is known as Šipon. The grape is also planted in Croatia where it is known as Moslavac. It is also found in Romania and in former republics of the Soviet Union.[1] Furmint is a late ripening variety. For dry wines the harvest starts usually in September, however sweet wine specific harvest can start in the second half of October or even later, and is often inflicted with Botrytis.[2]

The name Furmint may have been taken from the word "froment" for the wheat-gold color of the wine it produces. While it is possible that the grape was brought to Hungary in the 13th century during the reign of King Béla IV,[3][4] ampelographers believe that the grape is likely native to the region.[5]

Varietal: Plavina

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Varietal: Sugar Cane

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Varietal: Viura

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Macabeo, also called Viura or Macabeu is a white variety of wine grape.

It is widely grown in the Rioja region of northeastern Spain, the Cava producing areas south of Barcelona, and the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Spanish plantations stood at near 32,000 hectares (79,000 acres) in 2004, and French plantations at 2,800 hectares (6,900 acres) in 2007.

The grape is mostly used to make mildly acidic and young white wines mostly suitable for early consumption or blending with other varieties, both red and white. It is often the main grape of white Rioja and is sometimes blended in small amounts with Tempranillo and red Garnacha, both in unoaked and oaked versions. It was introduced in Rioja after the phylloxera epidemic, where it largely replaced Malvasia and Garnacha blanca, partially because of the ability of its wines to better withstand oxidation. Some producers of white Rioja make superior wines (Reserva and Gran Reserva) subjected to extended ageing that can span decades, resulting in a highly distinctive and aromatic wine.

Macabeo (or Macabeu as it is known in Catalan) is traditionally blended with Xarel·lo and Parellada to make Cava, the best known sparkling wine of Spain. It is also used in the base spirit used to create Obsello Absinthe.

This is the white Riojan grape par excellence and the main grape we grow in Patrocinio. It is also known as Macabeo, particularly in Catalonia, where it forms part of the traditional trio of Cava varieties. In our winery, it produces still, vibrant wines with subtle aromas of herbs and spices. It is the base of our whites that are fermented in the barrel, a traditional technique developed in our region.

Varietal: Zibibbo

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Purists will tell you that Zibibbo is a grape variety that can be used to make anything from table wine to grappa. However, the Zibibbo made commercially by several houses is a strong wine similar to Marsala but fermented and then partially distilled naturally, without the addition of spirits. The process differs also in that Zibibbo is actually made from grapes partially fermented in the sun. It is a very old process, and Zibibbo, though not the direct precursor of Marsala, derives from a formula known in the Middle Ages. It is typically slightly lower in alcohol than Marsala (about fifteen percent compared to eighteen or twenty percent) and sometimes more robust. The Zibibbo grape is similar to Moscato, and the wine known as Moscato di Pantelleria Naturale is made mostly from Zibibbo grapes. Suggested by a 3/18/2018 download of Wikipedia: jht

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From article 'Muscat' downloaded 3/17/2018 jht

Muscat blanc à Petits Grains is known by many names worldwide, including Muscat Blanc (white Muscat) in France and the United States), Muscat Canelli in the United States, Moscato Bianco (white Moscato) in Italy, Muscat Frontignan in South Africa, Moschato in Greece, Brown Muscat in Australia, Muskateller in Germany and Austria, Muscat de Grano Menudo in Spain, and Muscat de Frontignan and Muscat Lunel in France. While the "petits grains" in the grape's name accurately describes the small, round berries of the vine, some wine experts, such as Oz Clarke, believe that the term "Muscat blanc" is misleading, since the grapevine is notorious for its frequent color mutations siring clusters of berries in nearly every shade possible though most commonly the grape berries are a deep yellow after veraison. In some vineyards, vines of Muscat blanc à Petits Grains are known to produce clusters of berries of different colors that change every vintage.[5]

The precise origins of Muscat blanc à Petits Grains are not known, though Greece and Italy can both make compelling cases due to the proliferation of clones, mutations and offspring.[3] Today, the grape is found throughout the wine-producing world, making a wide range of wine, from light, sweet sparkling and semi-sparkling Asti and Moscato d'Asti wine in the Piedmont wine region of Italy and Clairette de Die region of France, fortified vin doux naturels (VdN) in southern France in AOC regions such as Muscat de Beaume de Venise, Muscat de Saint-Jean de Minervois and Muscat de Frontignan, fortified Liqueur Muscat in the Victoria wine region of Rutherglen in Australia, to dry wines in the Wachau wine of Austria and Südsteiermark.[5]

Nearly all the most notable sweet Muscats of Greece, particularly those from the island of Samos and the city of Patras on the Peloponnese are made from Muscat blanc à Petits Grains. In the history of South African wine, the famous dessert wine of Constantia was made from this variety of Muscat and while today Muscat of Alexandria is more widely planted in South Africa, producers around Constantia are trying to reclaim some of the region's viticultural acclaim by replanting more Muscat blanc à Petits Grains and making wines in the style of the original Constantia.[3]


Muscat of Alexandria

The berries of Muscat of Alexandria clusters are larger and more oval-shaped than those of Muscat blanc à Petits Grains

While the grape's name harkens to the city of Alexandria and suggest an ancient Egyptian origin, DNA analysis has shown that Muscat of Alexandria is the result of a natural crossing between Muscat blanc à Petits Grains and the Greek wine grape Axina de Tres Bias. Though as Axina de Tres Bias has also been historically grown in Sardinia and Malta, the precise location and origins of Muscat of Alexandria cannot be determined. Compared to Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, Muscat of Alexandria tends to produce large, moderately loose clusters of large oval-shaped berries that are distinctive from the much smaller, round berries of Muscat blanc à Petits Grains.[5]

Like most Muscat varieties, Muscat of Alexandria is notable for being a desirable raisin and table grape. This is due in part to the grape's high tolerance of heat and drought conditions. While it is used in wine production (most notably on the island of Pantelleria between Sicily and Tunisia, where it makes a passito style dessert wine under the name of "Zibibbo"), the grape lags far behind the reputation of Muscat blanc à Petits Grains. This is partly because Muscat of Alexandria is very vigorous and prone to produce high yields that can be easily overcropped as well as a more assertive aroma profile due to a higher concentration of the monoterpene geraniol, which produces a geranium scent, and lower concentration of nerol which a more fresh, sweet rose aroma.[5]

In France, Muscat of Alexandria is most prominent as a blending component (with Muscat blanc à Petits Grains) in the VdN wines of Muscat de Rivesaltes AOC in the Roussillon wine region. The grape is the primary Muscat variety in Spain, where it is known as Moscatel, though the majority of the country's plantings are used for table grapes and raisins, rather than for wine production. Likewise, in Chile, most of the Moscatel in that country is used to produce the distilled drink "pisco".[5]

In South Africa, Muscat of Alexandria is known as "Hanepoot" and was the fourth-most widely planted white wine grape variety in the country until the early 2000s. While some of the plantings were used for wine production, particularly for fortified wine, many plantings were used for the production of grape concentrate and raisins.[4] In California, there is still more plantings of Muscat of Alexandria than any other Muscat variety, with most of these grapes going into anonymous jug wines from the Central Valley.[5] As in many other places in the world, the grape had a long history of use in the United States as a raisin variety, though in the 1920s, plantings of Muscat of Alexandria began to decline as producers turned to more popular seedless grape varieties.[3]

Varietal: Braucol

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On the Gaillac terroir, the variety Fer Servadou is known as Braucol.

Varietal: Agave

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Varietal: Godello

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Varietal: Malt

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Varietal: Valdiguié

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Varietal character (Appellation America)

Varietal: Rieslaner

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Varietal: Pinot Gris

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From Pinot Gris Wikipedia entry:
Wines made from the Pinot gris vary greatly and are dependent on the region and wine making style they are from. Alsatian Pinot gris are medium to full bodied wines with a rich, somewhat floral bouquet. They tend to be spicy in comparisons with other Pinot gris. While most Pinot gris are meant to be consumed early, Alsatian Pinot gris can age well. German Pinot gris are more full-bodied with a balance of acidity and slight sweetness. In Oregon the wines are medium bodied with a yellow to copper-pink color and aromas of pear, apple, and/or melon. In California, the Pinot gris are more light bodied with a crisp, refreshing taste with some pepper and arugula notes. The Pinot grigio style of Italy is a light-bodied, often lean wine that is light in color with sometimes spritzy flavors that can be crisp and acidic. Although this wine can be very sweet, it will begin to lose its acidity when it is nearly ripe.

Pinot gris is considered an "early to market wine" that can be bottled and out on the market within 4–12 weeks after fermentation.
Varietal character (Appellation America)

Conseillé pour l'apéritif et avec les mets suivants :
Foie Gras terrine
Foie Gras poêlé
Tarte tatin

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Tempranillo is the backbone of wines made ihvhhcn the best well-known Spanish regions Rioja and Ribera del Duero, but is also grown as far afield as Mexico and Australia.

As a flavor profile, red fruits like strawberries and cherries can predominate - but with a rustic edge. The Many wines made from Tempranillo will sycyygpend a few years in barrel and bottle before reaching the consumers . Many Tempranillo-based wines see a few years of oak - add that to a few years of bottle and the wine can give a subtle - and occasionaly not-so-subtle - leathery mouthfeel. The combination of the tart fruit and tannins make this wine very food friendly.

Varietal: Rosé Blend

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"Rosé blend" can mean a blend of just about any varietals since the designation comes from the resulting color of the wine.

Varietal: Champagne Blend

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The typical champagne blend is of three grapes - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. Wines labeled as 'Blanc de Blancs' are by definition all Chardonnay, and wines labeled as 'Blanc de Noirs' contain Pinot Noir, Meunier or both in the blend.

There are how ever three additional grape varieties planted (Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc) and used in Champagne, they could be called legacy grapes and do not represent significant portion of the grapes used (<0.01%?). It is not permitted to plant more of these varieties.

However, sparkling wines that are not Champagne (i.e. not grown in the area legally allowed that name in France) may be made of several other grapes, too. For example, Markko Vineyards 'Excelsior' was given the name 'Champagne' with tongue-in-cheek, as the winemaker has embarked on a program to educate his consumers away from the use of the 'C' word. This wine is actually made like many German Sekts, from Riesling.

Varietal: Prosecco

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Varietal: Glera

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Glera Grape

Glera is a white variety of grape of Slovenian origin, which was brought to village Prosecco (Slovene, Prosek) from Slovenian Kras. Glera was, until 2009, mostly referred to as Prosecco (Slovene, Prosekar).

Glera is a rather neutral grape variety which is mainly cultivated for use in sparkling Italian wine styles, frizzante or spumante, from the various Prosecco DOCG and DOC areas, although still wines also exist.

It is grown mainly in the Veneto region of Italy, traditionally in an area near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso.

Varietal: Rye

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Rye - Our Blending Process


The process of making the finest, smoothest Canadian Whisky starts with the finest Canadian ingredients. Roughly 80% of our grain (rye, corn and barley) is sourced from Manitoba and surrounding provinces – resilient natural ingredients that were born to weather the challenging conditions where subzero temperatures are the norm.

Lake Winnipeg gives us pure water naturally filtered through the limestone beneath. Twelve distillation columns produce the fifty whiskies that comprise our signature blend – a result of five different recipes aged for varying periods of time in either new or re-use charred oak barrels. Our maturing barrels experience extreme temperature swings, the wood’s expansion and contraction slowly adding to the developing character. Once the whiskies have been aged to our blenders’ satisfaction, they are meticulously blended to create the signature rich, smooth, award-winning flavor of Crown Royal.


A lifetime of experience goes into every bottle of Crown Royal.


Nestled along the western shore of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba lies the small village of Gimli.


Fifty of the finest whiskies are meticulously blended to create the signature smoothness of Crown Royal.

Varietal: Dabouki

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Varietal: Grenache Blend

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Blend components vary widely by producer and region.

Varietal: Molasses

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Rare Criollo Cocoa Bean (NOT Molasses)
THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT types of cocoa bean which are used in chocolate production today. They are the noble Criollo, the common Forastero and a hybrid between the two, the Trinitario. Criollo and Trinitario are often referred to as fine or flavour cocoa beans, while Forastero is considered the ordinary or bulk bean for mass production (although there are exceptions to this rule -- see below). Over 90% percent of the world's cocoa is bulk production, mostly from the Forastero bean. The remainder is fine/flavour cocoa, from most of the Trinitario and all of the Criollo varieties.

What the fine Arabica bean is to coffee, the even finer and rarer Criollo bean is to chocolate. Criollo chocolate has a distinctly reddish colour, and an equally distinctive complex taste which can include flavours of caramel, nuts, vanilla and tobacco. Criollo bars are fairly rare and should definitely be sampled if encountered. That said, the taste might not be everyone's favourite as it differs considerably from that of the more common Trinitario and Forastero varieties, which generally define the taste of dark chocolate as most people know it. These tastes however are fairly recent -- two hundred years ago Criollo was the predominant cocoa bean. The reason for the general scarcity of Criollo cocoa today is the lack of resistance of the Criollo tree towards disease, which is why the more robust Forastero now dominates the world-wide market for cocoa. Today, most Criollo trees are closer to Trinitario than their pure ancestors. The most important Criollos are Ocumare 61 and the well-publicized Chuao, both of which are found in Venezuela. Only very few true Criollo trees remain. Probably the best known of these pure Criollo varieties is Porcelana -- also from Venezuela -- which can be found in a few bars mentioned on this site.

This is the equivalent of the Robusta bean in coffee, namely the most widespread variety which has been cultivated for mass production. Originally from the Amazon region, there are many types of Forastero trees all over the world, the most ubiquitous variety being the Amenolado found in Brazil and West Africa. While most Forastero is bulk cocoa, there are exceptions, such as the Ecuadorian Cacao Nacional or Arriba Forastero which is used as fine/flavour cocoa. In 2011 a rare Peruvian Nacional Forastero was discovered by chance. Forastero means "foreigner" in Spanish, in contrast to Criollo which is the word for "native". This distinction was made by the Spanish who at first imported Criollo cocoa exclusively from Venezuela and thus regarded Criollo as the original variety of cocoa, as opposed to the "foreign" Forastero from the Amazon region.

Trinitario is a hybrid between the Criollo and Forastero trees and originated in Trinidad. Around 1678, Criollo trees from Venezuela had been planted in Trinidad, and in the following decades they went on to produce some of the finest Criollo of the time. Then, in 1727, disaster struck. The exact reasons are still unknown and theories vary from fungi and disease to speculation whether the increasingly mature trees imported decades earlier were becoming more and more sensitive to Trinidad's soil and climate, for which they may have not been suited. In any case, the crop failure of 1727 delivered a fatal blow to Trinidad's cocoa economy, which was revived in 1756 with the introduction of the more robust Forastero from the Amazon region. The new variety was combined with the remaining Criollo trees, resulting in the new Trinitario variety. In the 19th century Trinitario trees spread across the globe and can be found in Venezuela, Ecuador, Cameroon, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Java and Papua New Guinea. Trinitario is the predominant fine/flavour cocoa and is the most likely bean to be found in high-quality dark chocolate today. A particular mention should go to the Venezuelan Carenero and Rio Caribe varieties, which are very highly regarded. An exception is the Trinitario from Cameroon which is generally classified as bulk produce.

Varietal: Muscat Blend

Revision 1; edited by wannaben on 3/22/2016

Gewürztraminer-Viognier-Muscat Blanc Blend

Varietal: Trousseau

Revision 2; edited by Finare Vinare on 2/11/2016

Variety: Trousseau

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