The 10 Most Popular Wine Grapes In The U.s.

Posted: Jun 10, 2018



Reading statistics can be tricky. Total acreage of vines planted does not always correspond to the volume of wine produced. The reason? Some of the vines planted may be table grapes or grapes used for raisins or grape juice. The total vineyard surface in the US is a little over 1 million acres (approx. 440,000 hectares). However, all vines are not used for making wine.

The most grown grape in the United States is the Sultanina and this grape is either eaten or dried to raisins. There are 148,000 acres (60,000 hectares) of this grape, so 14% of the total surface of vines in the US. Moreover, there are 34,000 hectares of the Concord. This grape can be transformed into wine and occasionally is, mainly on the East coast, but nowadays it is more popular for jelly, juice and jam.

If we discard non-wine-making varieties from the statistics, we have roughly 800,000 acres (320,000 hectares) of vineyards for wine production in the United States.

The Chardonnay craze has not subsided. It the most planted variety with 106,000 acres (43,000 hectares). Though still a very popular grape it has been slightly declining in the past 10 years. In second place is another superstar, Cabernet Sauvignon with 101,300 acres (41,000 hectares). Plantings of Cabernet are stable and even growing a bit.

The capricious Burgundy grape Pinot Noir has seen a spectacular growth and is now in third place with 61,800 acres (25,000 hectares). In Oregon, it is the emblematic grape. The state is more or less synonymous with Pinot noir. The grape covers 60 % of the Oregon vineyards, which means approximately 18,300 acres (7,400 hectares) out of 33,500 acres in total.

Merlot with 51,900 acres (21,000 hectares) and Zinfandel with 47,000 acres (19,000 hectares) are both pretty stable whereas Syrah with 22,200 acres (9,000 hectares) is growing, just like in the rest of the world. Trendy Pinot Gris has increased at an enormous speed over the last 10 years and is now planted on 19,800 acres (8,000 hectares). 

Top 10 wine grapes in the US

  1. Chardonnay (w) 106,000 acres (43,000 ha)
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon (r) 101,300 acres (41,000 ha)
  3. Pinot Noir (r) 61,800 acres (25,000 ha)
  4. Merlot (r) 51,900 acres (21,000 ha)
  5. Zinfandel (r) 47,000 acres (19,000 ha)
  6. Syrah (r) 22,200 acres (9,000 ha)
  7. Pinot Gris (w) 19,800 acres (8,000 ha)
  8. French Colombard (w) 19,700 (8,000 ha)
  9. Sauvignon blanc (w)
  10. Rubired (crossing between Tinta Cão and Alicante Ganzin with pigmented juice)

California is, of course, by far the most important US wine region with 80-90% of the total US production.

The Top 10 white grapes in California

  1. Chardonnay 93,400 acres (37,800 ha)
  2. French Colombard 18,900 acres (7,600 ha)
  3. Pinot Gris 16,800 acres (6,800 ha)
  4. Sauvignon Blanc 14,800 acres (6,000 ha)
  5. Chenin Blanc 4,800 acres (1,900 ha)
  6. Muscat of Alexandria 4,600 acres (1,800 ha)
  7. White Riesling 3,800 acres (1,500 ha)
  8. Muscat Blanc 3,000 acres (1,200 ha)
  9. Viognier 2,700 acres (1,100 ha)
  10. Gewurztraminer 1,600 acres (650 ha)

Bunches of ripe grapes, Cabernet Franc, Loire, France, copyright BKWine Photography

The Top 10 red grapes in California

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon 91,800 acres (37,000 ha)
  2. Pinot Noir 45,300 acres (18,300 ha)
  3. Zinfandel 43,200 acres (17,500 ha)
  4. Merlot 39,800 acres (16,100 ha)
  5. Syrah 16,400 acres (6,600 ha)
  6. Rubired 11,500 acres (4,600 ha)
  7. Petite Sirah 11,400 acres (4,600 ha)
  8. Barbera 4,800 acres (1,950 ha)
  9. Ruby Cabernet (crossing between Cab Sauv and Carignan) 4,700 acres (1,900 ha)
  10. Grenache 4,400 acres (1,780 ha)

Looking for something else? Petit Verdot has seen a huge increase in recent years, Cabernet Franc and Mourvèdre are coming strong. Among the whites, some of our favourites - Vermentino, Verdelho, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc - can all be found albeit, so far, on small acreages.

(Statistics from OIV, Oregon Wine Board and California Wine Institute.)

By Britt Karlsson 
June 8, 2018
Source: Forbes.com





Go-Wine Sharing and Promotion

Go-Wine's mission is to organize food and beverage information and make it universally accessible and beneficial. These are the benefits of sharing your article in Go-Wine.com

  • It Generates Free Traffic to your site.
  • Your Article Will Get Indexed Faster.
  • Your Google Rankings Will Rise. Google Rise Articles with Positive Participation & Contribution.
  • Your Article Will Reach New Customers and Audience. Go-Wine has a selected audience and visitors from over 120 countries.
  • You always receive credit - you will be cited accurately (Author, Website & Hyperlink).
  • The integrity of the Information is not compromised - you always will be linked to the most up to date version of your article.

Contact Us for more information.

© 2018 Go-Wine©. All Rights Reserved. Designed by JCarrillo. Vision of Wine Business Academy