Varietal or Variety? July 13, 2016 15:26

Varietal or Variety?

Talking wine. Here is some insight into wine terminology of VARIETY and VARIETAL.  These words sound close and are often incorrectly used.

  • Definition of Variety is a kind of grape. Syrah, Viognier, Grenache, Cinsaut.  So grapes growing here in Owl Hill Vineyard are of the SYRAH VARIETY.
  •  Definition of Varietal is a WINE named after a grape variety. The wine I make from the syrah variety and label Syrah is a SYRAH VARIETAL.

You see many varietal wines. Even ones I don’t make like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay.... By law these wines must be 75% of the grape variety stated on the label. My Varietals are 100% of the grape variety stated on the label.

Say “varietal” when you are referring to a wine.

Say “variety” when you a referring to a kind of grape.