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Cabernet Franc is a blue-black grape that is grown around the world, mostly for blending with other red wine grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but also for its own varietal wines. Cabernet Franc is also commonly used for ice wines in North America. The varietal wines created from Cabernet Franc grapes is bright red because of the light color of the grapes.
Gamay grapes grow especially well in the Beaujolais district of France where they are used to produce Beaujolais wines. Although the Gamay grape itself has lots of tannins, the resulting Gamay wines are characterized by fairly low tannins. Wines made from Gamay grapes have fresh, fruity flavors like strawberry and raspberry and aromas of pears.
Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile white grape variety that create white wines ranging in flavor from grassy to mineraly to fruity. Other Sauvignon Blanc flavors and aromas include apples, melons, peppers, and smoke. Sauvignon Blanc tends to be more grassy when picked early, more fruity when picked late. Sauvignon Blanc flavors also depend heavily on where the grapes are grown. The most famous wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from Bordeaux and the Loire valley in France.
The Chenin Blanc grape variety originates in the Loire Valley of France. Also called Steen when grown in South Africa, Chenin Blanc grapes are used to produce wines of varying quality. Favors and aromas of Chenin Blanc wines include fruit, honey, quince, and grasses. Other characteristics of wines made from Chenin Blanc grapes include an oily texture, high acidity, and a deep gold coloring. The specific characteristics of Chenin Blanc wines depend heavily on where they are grown.
Pinot Grigio grape skins are usually greyish-blue and darker than those of other white wine grapes, giving the appearance more common to red grapes. These grapes are frequently called Pinot Gris — "Pinot" means pine cone and "gris" means "grey" in French. Pinot Grigio wines tend to have deeper colors than other white wines. Pinot Grigio flavors and aromas include fruit rinds, orange peel, and pear skins. Other Pinot Grigio characteristics include deep, dark colors and low acidity.
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