Types of grapes and characteristics Learn how to differentiate them!

There are numerous types of grapes and each has distinctive characteristics that result in very different wines. Would you be able to recognize each of the grape varieties grown in our country?

We propose a review of some of the most famous grape varieties in Spain. To put it to the test, what better practice than a tasting of Finca Antigua’s range of single-varietal wines, the collection of wines made from 100% of each of the grapes we will see below. This type of wine shows us the peculiarities of the grape variety used, revealing its aromas and flavors.

What will you get out of it? Become an expert and, above all, distinguish which variety is your favorite in order to look for it in single or multi-varietal wines containing it. 


Surely the variety you have heard most about, the Spanish grape par excellence. It is native to La Rioja, and the most widely used variety in La Mancha, although it is allowed in a large number of different Denominations of Origin, which means that it can be found in very different climates, resulting in a great wealth of flavors and nuances.

Wine: Its wines are elegant. A variety with few tannins that will result in silky wines, but with good body, intense purple color and red fruit aromas.

Grape: short cycle, it is harvested early, which gave rise to its name. Particularly resistant to spring frosts due to its ripening times. Good aging and ageing.


If the Tempranillo variety was the most planted in Spain, Merlot has the merit of being the most planted worldwide. It is a grape variety of French origin, from the Bordeaux region. This variety is often used in blends to improve the properties of other varietals.

Wine: Intense ruby color, primary aromas of red fruits and background notes of truffle and violets. The Merlot variety is used to produce smooth and balanced wines.
: low production despite its good fertility. The grapes are small and conical in shape with thick, dark skin.


It has been said that this variety comes from the city of Shiraz in Persia, from where it traveled to France and from there spread to the rest of the world. Whatever its real origin, the fact is that it is a crop that gives good results in France, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Chile and of course Spain, where it has acclimatized particularly well in La Mancha.

Wine: The main characteristic will be the concentration of tannins. With a bright dark red color and violet hints. They usually have aromas of black fruits with notes of blackcurrant, violets and wild blackberries. Full-bodied wines.

Grape: Elliptical shape, thick skin and colorless pulp with good acidity. The clusters are compact, dense, conical in shape and of medium size.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Another of the most widespread varieties worldwide thanks to its good adaptation to most soils. It comes from the cross between Cabernet Franc and Suavignon Blanc and owes its fame to the prominence given to this variety during the 18th century for winemaking in Bordeaux. It tends to produce wines that are highly appreciated for their complexity and great enological quality.

Wine: The properties of wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon will depend greatly on their maturation time. Young wines will be intensely aromatic and rougher while the more aged varieties will become much sweeter, giving more complex wines. They usually share an intense color with bluish glints, herbaceous taste and fruity and floral aromas.

Grape: It is presented in clusters of small size and conical shape. It has a dark color and its skin is thick.

Petit Verdot

This strain has a late maturity which does not make it suitable for all locations, thriving best in warm climates. It is widely used for the so-called blending wines due to its suitability for blending with other varieties. In spite of this, at Finca Antigua we make our 100% Petit Verdot Crianza, with excellent results for this variety despite its complexity in single varietals.

Wine: The wines will have aromas of black fruits, spicy tones and complex flavor, with very diverse nuances.

Grape: Its berries are of small size and uniform shape, with thick skin and a very juicy pulp.


Garnacha is one of the classic grape varieties that has become fashionable in recent years. In Spain it is the third most planted variety, behind Tempranillo, which makes us one of the countries with the highest production of Garnacha. A peculiarity is that Grenache has 3 different varieties, white, hairy and red.

Wine: Fruity, with a low acidity and fine tannin, making them delicate and smooth on the palate. Medium coloration in bright red tones with purplish edges. White flowers on the nose and red fruits such as raspberries on the palate.

Grapes: in large, compact clusters with uniform berry with thin, delicate skin.

There are approximately 1,300 different types of grapes grown in the world for winemaking, the possibilities are endless and will be determined by the climate and soil in which they are grown. We know that it is impossible for you to know them all, but at least you already know some of the most important varieties in Spain.

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