Lilliput of Rutherglen

Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Bordeaux region of France and it is the major variety in some of the best wines of the Medoc. Its plantings have been increasing in recent times, with France, Chile, California, Australia, and South Africa all expanding production. The excellent quality of the wines of Cabernet Sauvignon is well known. They have good colour and a pronounced varietal character which is very intense when grown under cooler conditions. With their high tannin they tend to require aging and are often blended.

Merlot

Merlot is the principal black variety of the Bordeaux area and is now also recommended in the south of France. With the area planted in France increasing, and its expansion into other wine producing areas, including Italy, Eastern Europe, California, Chile and Argentina, its popularity internationally is on the rise. The wine of merlot has a distinctive character clearly related to that of the Cabernets. It has good colour, but it is softer and ages more quickly than Cabernet wines. Combined with members of the Cabernet family, it is used to produce the finest of the wines labelled as Bordeaux in France.

Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is a minor wine grape variety from the Bordeaux region of France. It has long been part of the varietal mix in Bordeaux and plays a small but fundamental role in creating the flavour of these wines. It is now being grown in Argentina, Chile, California, and Australia, with the increasing interest in the variety leading to the production of some excellent wines.

Syrah (Shiraz)

This variety comes from the Hermitage area of the Rhone Valley in France where it is known as Syrah. It has become quite prolific in France, and it also found in Australia, Italy, Argentina, and South Africa. In Australia, Shiraz has proved to be a very versatile variety. It is grown in all areas and is used for all types of red wines. It is sometimes used alone but is often blended with other red varieties.

Viognier

Viognier is an old variety restricted to the right back of the Rhone river south of Vienne in France. While it is not found in great quantity in France, in the locations it is used, it is frequently combined with other varieties to make some of the most famous wines. Viognier has not been grown extensively in Australia but there has been a recent increase in interest in this variety. The variety is not very fruitful and is commonly cane pruned. The special aromatic character of the wine can make it useful as a specialty line in some of the cooler regions of Australia.

All information on this page was sourced from George Kerridge and Allan Antcliff's Wine Grape Varieties (1999).