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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's a grape VARIETY, for heaven's sake!!!

This past week, while touring the wineries and vineyards of the Republic of Georgia with some other wine professionals of the US, I confirmed what I already knew: People (even "wine people") are constantly saying "it's a grape varietal", when what they really mean is "it's a grape variety" (a term that actually refers to a cultivar).

Clark Smith (Appellation America), a wine writer/winemaker for whom I have a huge amount of respect is one of the culprits for the misuse of the term. According to him (and I will quote him), "You're fighting a lost war and you should direct your energy and efforts towards something more important."  Well, with the support of Lisa Granik MW who also shares this view that we should set an example and make sure that the English language is properly used, Clark agreed that he will start using "grape varieties" from now on and, during his rehabilitation process, I could pinch his arm.
Don't you love happy endings? :)

So, what's a varietal? The answer is as simple as this:
A wine sold by the name of the principal grape variety from which it is made.

Will you join my fight? :)

Cheers,
Luiz Alberto
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