Vinhão (veen-YOW)

Along with azal tinto, a high acid Portuguese variety used in the rare red versions of vinho verde.

Xynomavro (ZEE-no-mav-ro)

Sometimes spelled xinomavro. From xyno, acid, and mavro, black. Greece’s most intense, well-respected red grape. Probably originated near the Naoussa region in northern Greece and still used to make the wine called Naoussa, one of… Continue reading

Zametovka (Zah-meh-TOV-kah)

Ancient Slovenian variety where it is used as part of the blend in the crisp, pale red Slovenian wine called Cviček. Known worldwide for a different reason—namely, the presumed oldest vine in the world—a 450-year-old… Continue reading

Zinfandel (ZIN-fan-dell)

For decades, zinfandel was the most widely planted red grape in California until cabernet sauvignon surpassed it in 1998. Now number two in acreage, zinfandel is a chameleon. It can be (and is) made into… Continue reading

Zweigelt (ZVIGH-gelt)

Austrian cross of blaufränkisch and St. Laurent made in 1922 by an Austrian researcher named Fritz Zweigelt. It is now one of the most widely planted red grapes in Austria and is the source of… Continue reading

Touriga Franca (tore EE gah FRANK a)

High quality variety native to the Duoro region of Portugal even though the word “Franca” might seem to imply it came from France. Used as one of the leading grapes in the blend to make… Continue reading

Touriga Nacional (tore-EE-gah na-SEE-on-al)

Probably native to Portugal’s Dao region, but today widely known as the leading powerhouse grape in many of the blends that make Port. The grape has many attributes including richness, depth, a commanding tannic structure,… Continue reading

Trepat (TRAY-paht)

Native to Catalonia in northwest Spain. Mostly used for making rosé cavas.

Trincadeira Preta (trin-ka-DARE-rah PRAY-ta)

A darkly colored grape that probably originated in central Portugal and is now grown all over southern Portugal, where it makes rustic wines. Sometimes known by the synonym tinta amarela, “black yellow.”

Trollinger (TRAWL-in-jer)

Common German variety making mostly undistinguished wines, especially in the Württemberg area. Known in its homeland northern Italy as Schiava.

Vaccarèse (vack-are-EZ)

One of the common if minor red grapes in France’s southern Rhône Valley. Sometimes used in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Also known as brun argenté.

Valdiguié (VAL-dih-gay)

Southwestern French variety now virtually extinct there but growing in tiny amounts in California, where, in the past, it was the source of some wines known confusingly as Napa gamay.