A Directory of Wine Grape Varieties in Australia




A North Eastern Italian variety known for its acidic deeply coloured red wines. There is some confusion about this variety and its close relatives, especially Mondeuse. It is grown in Australia by Blanche Barkly wines in Kingower, Victoria

Rhine Riesling

This term was widely used in Australia until the early 1980's. It denoted a varietal Riesling. Although not strictly correct, the term Rhine Riesling was needed to distinguish between at least five common uses (misuses) of the term 'riesling'. First, Riesling was a style of dry wine, similar to 'Hock'. It may have been made from Riesling grapes but more frequently blends of other varieties such Sultana would be used. Secondly the term is used for semi sweet wines of no particular variety, often sold in boxes. This use has given riesling the reputation of being sweet. Thirdly Clare Riesling was the common misnomer for Crouchen until the mid 1970s when the variety was correctly identified. Fourthly, Hunter Valley Riesling was the misnomer for Semillon, brilliant wines but incorrectly labeled. Finally the term was occasionally used correctly to describe wines made from Riesling Grapes.


A classic white wine variety from Germany. It is also the mainstay of Alsace in France. In Australia it is widely grown, a reflection of its flexibility. It produces great wines in cool areas which are refreshing when young but develop into magnificent beauties when aged for ten years or so. While they are still not popular they remain one of the great bargains of Australian wine.


This Italian red wine variety is used as a key ingredient of red wine Valpolicello. Rondinella plays a secondary role to Corvina in these blends and is less highly regarded. More...


Another Northern Rhone white wine variety that is undergoing a revival. In the Rhone it is used in blends with marsanne for example in White Hermitage, it also one of thirteen varieties permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape. Roussanne is less popular than Marsanne because of its irregular yield, late ripening and susceptibility to powdery mildew. Nevertheless the variety has been adopted by the Rhone Rangers in California.

More about Roussanne...

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