Excuse me sir – but are you noble? Part 1

Excuse me sir – but are you noble? Part 1

1st Apr 2010

Thewineremedy team examines the origins of the “noble grapes”.

Thewineremedy has received a lot of interest this week in the term “noble grapes”. What are the noble grapes and where do they originate from? Are certain grape varieties considered inherently superior to others?


It’s an interesting question and one that has particular relevance today - grape varieties continue to supplant regions as the main point of reference for most wine drinkers.


Traditionally, the grapes associated with the highest quality wines were termed the “noble grapes". The term originated in France where wine makers believed that wines made from these grapes had the finest flavour and finesse. Historically, there were six varieties considered worthy enough to come under the heading of noble grape. The white noble grapes were Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Chardonnay. The red noble grapes were Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In Part 2 we examine the red grape varieties – part 3 focuses on the great white wines of the world.


P.S Don’t forget that if any terms used in this guide are unfamiliar, we have provided a guide to wine language and terms –  Speaking the lingo Parts 1-4!


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