by Ian Kleine

Pinot gris is the white variety of the Pinot species, with scientific name vitis vinifera. Pinot gris means ‘pine’ and ‘grey’ in French, attributed to its grayish blue hue found in the fruit. Wines produced by this grape variety, are, however, depending its tone and color from yellow to copper and even pink.

Another Pinot clone exists in Italy, known as Pinot grigio. Around 1990’s, Pinot gris has made a name for itself in Oregon, thanks to a high number of wineries that have made top-quality Pinot gris wines. At least one thousand eight hundred acres are dedicated to growing Pinot gris in Oregon to this day.

Chardonnay is the green-skinned, often most common, grape variety used to make fine wine. Believed to have come from the Burgundy region of eastern France but is know grown wherever wine is produce. Chardonnay is a mainstay. For most places to be recognized as wineries, one must have grown Chardonnay grapes as an unofficial rite of passage of some sorts. This also gains your access and segue into the international market of wines.

Chardonnay has a neutral taste, which easily associates itself with a number of flavors, wood, scents and bouquets. From flinty Chablis, to buttery Meursalts and New World Wines which exhibit tropical flavor and fun experiences. The grape is an important ingredient for sparkling wines, including that of Champage. Chardonnay is a very prolific grape, easily found worldwide and cultivated in vast numbers side by side Airen varieties and the legendary Cabernet Sauvingnon.

Merlot is a red wine grape that is used for blending and adding taste and flavor rather than as a base wine. Merlot produces a medium body with hints of currant, plum and different berries. Merlot produces a significant amount of tannin, providing the bitter taste in ripening a good batch of Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is also a primary component in Bordeaux wine, being planted as an important component for it.

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