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Kelowna / Okanagan Grape Varieties

Okanagan grape varieties and their sensory descriptors

Wine grape varieties in the Okanagan are variously evaluated according to a wide range of descriptors which draw comparisons with other, non-grape flavors and aromas. The following provides a very brief and by no means exhaustive summary of typical descriptors for the varieties you may come across on your Kelowna Wine Tour

Okanagan Wine Grape VarietiesRed

Cabernet Franc - tobacco, green bell pepper, raspberry, freshly mown grass
Cabernet Sauvignon - blackcurrants, eucalyptus, chocolate, tobacco
Gamay - pomegranate, strawberry,
Grenache - smoky, pepper, raspberry
Malbec - violet, plums, tart red fruit, earthy minerality
Merlot - black cherry, plums, tomato
Mourvèdre - thyme, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, violet, blackberry
Nebbiolo - leather, tar, stewed prunes, chocolate, liquorice, roses
Norton - red fruit, elderberries
Petite Sirah - earthy, black pepper, dark fruits
Petit Verdot - violets, pencil shavings
Pinot Noir - raspberry, cherry, violets, "farmyard" , truffles
Pinotage - bramble fruits
Sangiovese - herbs, black cherry, leathery, earthy
Syrah (Shiraz) - tobacco, black/white pepper, blackberry, smoke
Tempranillo - vanilla, strawberry, tobacco
Teroldego - spices, chocolate, red fruits
Zinfandel - black cherry, pepper, mixed spices, mint

White
Albariño - lemon, minerals
Breidecker - apple, pear
Chardonnay - butter, melon, apple, pineapple, vanilla (if oaked, e.g. vinified or aged in new oak aging barrels)
Chenin Blanc - wet wool, beeswax, honey, apple, almond
Gewürztraminer - rose petals, lychee, spice
Grüner Veltliner - green apple, citrus
Marsanne - almond, honeysuckle, marzipan
Melon de Bourgogne - lime, salt, green apple
Muscato - honey, grapes, lime
Palomino - honeydew, citrus, raw nuts
Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) - white peach, pear, apricot
Prosecco - apple, honey, musk, citrus
Riesling - citrus fruits, peach, honey, petrol
Sauvignon Blanc - gooseberry, lime, asparagus, cut grass, bell pepper (capsicum), grapefruit, passionfruit, cat pee (tasters' term for guava)
Sémillon - honey, orange, lime
Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc) - lime, herbs
Verdicchio - apple, minerals, citrus
Vermentino - pear, cream, green fruits
Viognier - peach, pear, nutmeg, apricot

 

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