Most wine is made from grapes, and different types of grapes make for very different wines. The types of wine grapes depend largely on the wine region, and indeed, grape varieties can largely be classified by areas of origin and cultivation. By far the most popular grape type used for making wine is Vitis vinifera, also known as the common vine grape, which originates from the Mediterranean region of Europe and Northern Africa as well as the Middle East, but is cultivated in nearly every wine region on every continent today.
With large-scale European colonization, Vitis vinifera spread to every continent and interacted with other native types within the Vitis genus, often forming various hybrid grape varieties that have greatly enriched viticulture and wine-making. In fact, most hybrid grape varieties are created with the European common vine grape as one of the “parent grapes.” Within the Vitis vinifera group of grapes, there are literally hundreds of varieties, both red and white grapes, depending on the growing regions.
While the most common and widespread, Vitis vinifera is not the only broad grape type used to make wine. Vitis labrusca, or Fox grapes, are another popular type of wine grape, and they are native to the Eastern United States. Some wine grapes that belong to this group are Delaware, Isabella, Concord, and Niagara, among others.
There is a difference between wine grapes and table grapes — as the name suggests, wine grape varieties are used to make wine, while table grapes are consumed as a type of food. For a detailed list and description of some of the best types of wine grapes, you can visit CellarNotes.net.
To find out how these different grape varieties are made into a beverage that has been the delight of humanity for thousands of years, check out the page on “How Wine is Made” above!
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