Grape Varieties Used in Welsh Wine

Welsh wine utilises a wide range of grapes and styles, to produce outstanding, award winning wines. This includes the full spectrum, from Reds to Whites, and even Sparkling.

White

Bacchus

Bacchus, a name also used for the Greek wine god Dionysus, was released in 1972 as a combination of Riesling and Muller-Thurgau. Thanks to a cooler climate, Bacchus grapes retain their acidity. This can provide greater quality without the need to blend with higher acidity grapes sometimes required in warmer climates. Commonly grown in Germany, it is an extremely flavourful variety producing high quality wines.

Used By: Penarth, Ancre Hill, Glyndwr

Chardonnay

The world’s most popular white grape variety, it is also the most versatile. Due to the sheer quantity planted, a Chardonnay wine can vary on climate and process, with wildly expensive and inexpensive wines available all from the same humble grape.

Used By: Pant Du, Llaethliw, Parva Farm

Madeleine Angevine

Another Germanic style of grape producing high quality, acidic wines. Strong acidity and aromas of Rhubarb lends itself to use in dessert or sweeter wines.

Used By: Jabajak

Huxelreber

Suited to cooler climates, it can be found in Germany and originally from Loire Valley. Low acidity makes it ideal for blending with higher acidity grapes. A robust floral aroma lends itself to producing slightly sweeter, floral wines.

Colloquially known as “Mad Angie”, the variety is more accurately known as “Madeline x Angevine 7672”. This variety is more suitable for the UK climate, with mis-labelling from suppliers commonplace between the two. This 7672 variety is easier to grow and popular throughout the UK.

Used By: Cwm Deri, Llaethliw, Sugar Loaf

Phoenix

Phoenix is a relatively new grape with quality fruits and high disease resistance. While produced in small quantities, it provides closely packed grapes with a muscat, elderflower aroma. A hybrid of Bacchus and Villard Blanc, it is usually grown in small quantities, but is gaining in popularity.

Used By: Ty Croes, Conwy, Llaethliw, Jabajak, White Castle

Siegerrebe

A strong, intense flavour, it is commonly used for blending to tame it a little. Often compared to Gewurztraminer.

Used By: Pant Du, White Castle

Seyval Blanc

The most popular grape in Wales by quite some way! A lover of cool climates, this variety is popular in the UK as well as the US due to diseases resistance and bumper crops even in cooler years. A strong all rounder means it’s often used in blending, oak ageing and for still and sparkling wines.

Used By: Ty Croes, Pant Du, Cwm Deri, Llaethliw, Jabajak, Glyndwr, Meadow View, Parva Farm, Sugar Loaf

Solaris

Despite its sunny name, the variety was bred in 1964 for disease resistance and for growing in more northern-European countries such as Sweden, Denmark and the UK. Solaris has medium acidity and fruity aromas.

Used By: Conwy, Llaethliw

Red

Pinot Noir

An extremely variable grape, Pinot Noir is a fragile and light grape susceptible to disease. Early ripening tendencies makes it suited to the Welsh climate, with a cool climate giving time for flavours to mature in the grapes. Pinot Noir grapes produce paler, lighter and fruitier reds.

Originally grown in Burgundy in France, but now grown internationally in most countries, leaning towards cooler climates of California, Chile, South Africa and Australia.

Used By: Pant Du, Llaethliw, Glyndwr, Parva Farm, Sugar Loaf, White Castle

Regent

First released for cultivation in Germany, 1996, Regent provides significant fungal resistance and like Pinot Noir favours long, cool growing seasons. However, Regent wines come with more tannin, with aromas of darker fruits like cherries and blackcurrants. Typically produces a more alcoholic wine with an intense colour and medium acidity. Quite a new vine to the UK climate, this is certainly one to watch in coming years.

Used By: Pant Du, Conwy, Llaethliw, Jabajak, Glyndwr, White Castle

Rondo

First commercially planted in Ireland in 1997, Rondo is a favourite for Norther European climates due to its frost resistance qualities. Widely used in England to award winning claim, it produces an alcoholic (15% from the UK!) wine that is dark and full bodied. Somewhere between a Tempranillo and Syrah.

Used By: Ancre Hill, Cwm Deri, Glyndwr

Triomphe d’Alsace

As you may have guessed, Triomphe d’Alsace is of Franco-German origin. Commonly grown in the UK, vines can be strong growers even throughout winter and has found something of a niche in the UK market. It’s ease of growing has made it a firm favourite, with low acidity and high sugar levels.

Used By: Penarth, Pant Du, Ancre Hill, Llaethliw, Jabajak, Parva Farm, White Castle