Grape varieties


The essentials of the Southwest

Strong personalities

300 grape varieties are referenced in the Southwest, including 130 native varieties. These are the legacy of the particular geography of this wine region, centuries of selection carried out by people and migratory flows on the route to Santiago de Compostela.
The Southwest is both the birthplace of world-famous grape varieties and home to native grapes that are not found anywhere else.

An extended family

The Southwest is known to be both the birthplace of the world’s oceanic grapes and home to native varieties that are not found anywhere else. Migration and trade have contributed to the movement and spread of grape varieties. Among the most illustrious parent grapes of the Southwest is Prunelard which resulted in the Malbec grape, among others. But the honor goes to Cabernet Franc, native to the Pyrenees, which has spawned Carmenère, Chile’s emblematic grape variety, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. With over 250,000 hectares planted, they represent the second and third commonest grape varieties in the world.

The future ahead

Finally, in a context of climate change, the wealth of native grape varieties in the Southwest represents a pool of exceptional wine-making biodiversity guaranteeing good adaptation to the climate change already underway, thanks in particular to the rediscovery of unknown grapes and varieties that had fallen out of use.

Red varieties

White varieties

South West Vineyards

Centre INRA - Chemin de Borde Rouge
CS 52637 - 31321 Castanet Tolosan cedex

Phone : (+33) 5 61 73 87 06
Fax : (+33) 5 61 75 64 39



Monday to Friday : 9 am - 5 pm

Alcohol abuse is dangerous for health. To consume with moderation.

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