Friday, May 13, 2011

The Wine Grapes of Virginia

There's an interesting discussion occurring over at Drink What YOU Like regarding the Virginia Wine Board's decision to designate Viognier as the Signature Grape of Virginia. Yes, Virginia wineries craft very nice Viognier, but what I found interesting was that there is no clear idea how many of Virginia wineries actually make wine from the now signature grape. At Wine-Compass, representatives from wineries can add their portfolio and we had a decent representation from the Commonwealth. When adding a wine, the representative can also select one or more grape varieties which comprise the wine. I decided to break a personal pledge and updated the varietal information for each winery. The description and price of the wine may be outdated, but they at least, all have the varietal designations. The table below show the estimated number of wineries that use each grape variety. Each count doesn't mean a winery crafts a single varietal wine for that variety. In many cases the grape is used in a blend and a Meritage could have five grape varieties. I believe that is one reason the use of Petit Verdot is higher than I had expected. As for the Viognier, I would expect that about 90% of these are single varietals so its use is quite common in Virginia. Welcome to the signature grape.

135 Cabernet Franc
127 Chardonnay
112 Cabernet Sauvignon
106 Merlot
82 Viognier
80 Vidal Blanc
74 Petit Verdot
53 Chambourcin
38 Riesling
31 Traminette
30 Norton
27 Pinot Grigio/Gris
25 Seyval Blanc
23 Tannat
23 Pinot Noir
21 Syrah
20 Sauvignon Blanc
19 Muscat
18 Petit Manseng
17 Malbec
15 Touriga Nacional
14 Sangiovese
13 Gewürztraminer
11 Concord
10 Chardonel
10 Traminer
7 Zinfandel
7 Mourvedre
7 Nebbiolo
7 Niagara
6 Mead
6 Cayuga
5 Rkatsiteli
5 Shiraz
5 Tinto Cao
4 Albarino
4 Marechal Foch
4 Johannisberg Riesling
3 Barbera
3 Chancellor
3 Tempranillo
3 Pinotage
2 Roussanne
2 Sauterne
2 Steuben
2 Symphony
2 Melomel
2 Catawba
2 Blaufrankisch
2 Alicante Bouschet
2 Cyser
2 Vignole
1 Villard Blanc
1 Villard Noir
1 Trebbiano
1 Verdejo
1 De Chaunac
1 Dornfelder
1 Fer Servadou
1 Corot Noir
1 Cynthiana
1 Grenache
1 Gruner Veltliner
1 Jurancon
1 La Crosse
1 Lemberger
1 Marsanne
1 Malvasia
1 Cascade
1 Brunello
1 Buffalo
1 Aglianico
1 Colombard
1 Mission
1 Muscat Blanc
1 Muscat Canelli
1 Muscat Ottonel
1 Optima
1 Pinot Blanc
1 Scheurebe
1 Primitivo
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