Adjective describing a wine made from a single grape variety. Classic varietal wines include Chablis (from Chardonnay), Barolo (from Nebbiolo), and Brunello (from Sangiovese).

Some wines that are varietally labeled, for example as Pinot noir, Merlot, or Zinfandel, may (depending on appellation laws) contain a small percentage of other grapes. In purely enological terms these are actually blended wines, not monovarietal wines.

Varietal labeling has long been popular in North America and has since infiltrated Europe. It’s not uncommon to see a French white Burgundy labeled “Chardonnay,” for example.

« Back to Glossary Index
More from Meg Maker
Sixteen California Pinots
These sixteen Pinot Noir from warm California vintages feel friendly, juicy, spicy—and...
Read More
0 replies on “Varietal”