Emerging varieties to explore

26 Jun, 2020

Diverse wine grapes are cropping up in vineyards right around Australia and being made into exciting wines. Expand your knowledge – and palate – with the red and white varieties ahead.

Red varieties

People clinking glasses filled with red wine Aglianico: This southern Italian grape makes full-bodied, dark-fruited wines with firm tannins. 
Try Beach Road, La Prova, Sutton Grange

Cinsault: Commonly blended, this grape – prevalent in France’s Languedoc region – makes pretty, floral wines. 
Try Smallfry Wines, Brash Higgins, Year Wines   

Montepulciano: Resulting wines can show red fruits and savoury characters, and are particularly great with full-flavoured dishes.
Try Catlin, Woodstock, Whistling Kite

Nero d’Avola: This Sicilian grape creates rich wines with dark fruits and a little spice.
Try Zerella Wines, Mount Horrocks, Unico Zelo

Tempranillo: The Spanish grape makes the food-friendly, approachable reds of Rioja.
Try Juniper, Wines by KT, S.C. Pannell

Tinta barroca: From Portugal, this grape is traditionally used for fortifieds, but makes rich wines with firm tannins.
Try Ricca Terra Vintners, Terra do Rio

Saperavi: This native Georgian grape produces deeply coloured wine with high acidity.
Try Hugh Hamilton, Patritti, Massena

Tannat: Originally from France, this grape variety makes deeply coloured, tannic wines.
Try Boireann, Wines by Geoff Hardy, Hither & Yon 

White varieties

White wine pouring into a glass Arinto: This Portuguese grape creates wines with citrus notes and good acidity.
Try Dell'uva, Stanton & Killeen, Ricca Terra

Bianco d’Alessano: A southern Italian grape commonly used in blends.
Try Salena Estate, Delinquente Wine Co, Bellwether Wines

Clairette: Often used to produce vermouth, this grape has very low natural acidity.
Try Spinifex, Yangarra, Jb Josephs

Fiano: This Italian grape makes diverse, textural wines with bright acidity.
Try Rutherglen Estates, Serafino, Tellurian

Slankamenka bela: An ancient grape from the Balkans that shows tropical fruits and nutty notes. Try Amato Vino 

Slankamenka bela: An ancient grape from the Balkans that shows tropical fruits and nutty notes.
Try Amato Vino

Ugni blanc/trebbiano: Originally from Italy, this grape can make a bright, fresh style of wine.
Try Simao and Co, Campbells, Torzi Matthews

Vermentino: From Sardinia, this grape makes textural wines that pair beautifully with oily fish.
Try Yelland and Papps, Chalmers, Oliver’s Taranga

Zibibbo/muscat d’Alessandria: A versatile Southern Italian grape used for dessert wines, sparklings and more.
Try Brash Higgins, DogRidge Wine Company, Brown Brothers

This is an edited extract of an article by David Sly that first appeared as “Grape Hunters” in Halliday magazine.