Glossary of Wine Terms
VARIETAL — Describes a wine that takes its name from the primary grape varietal from which its was made. By U.S. law, 75 percent of the total blend of the wine.
VARIETAL CHARACTER — Describes wines that have the flavor and bouquet characteristic of the grape variety used in making wine.
VEGETAL — Describes tastes and smells of bell peppers and asparagus as well as other plants and vegetables. In small amounts adds to complexity and character, and in larger amounts signals flaws and out-of-balance and undesirable flavors.
VINICULTURE — The science of making wine; winemaking. See viticulture.
VINIFERA — See Vitis vinifera.
VINIFICATION — The process of making grape juice into wine.
VITICULTURE — The science of growing grapes.
VITICULTURAL AREAS — A grape-growing region recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, & Firearms, the government agency responsible for the regulation of alcoholic beverages. When used on a label, 85 percent of the wine must come from that area. Also AVA (American Viticultural Area).
VITIS LABRUSCA — Native North American grape species, of which Concord is best known. Characterized by a distinctive grapey aroma. See additional reference glossary on North American grape varieties.
VITIS VINIFERA — The primary species of wine grapes-derived from the European-Middle Eastern vine from which the most of the world’s fine wines are made, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir, among many others. See additional reference glossary on North American grape varieties.