Then and now: The world’s most popular grape varieties

Posted on 20th January, by Wine Cellar in Blog, Wine Knowledge. No Comments

Cab Sav

New research released by the University of Adelaide shows how drastically consumer preferences and wine grape plantings have changed in the last 20 years. Whereas Airen, Grenache and Rkatsiteli topped the list of the world’s most widely planted varieties two decades ago, they have since been superseded by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with other international varieties also making their way into the top ten. Tempranillo is reportedly the fastest-expanding variety in the world, accounting for 20% of Spain’s area under vine in 2010, up from 5% in 1990.

The most planted varieties in 1990

1. Airen
2. Garnacha Tinta
3. Rkatsiteli
4. Sultaniye
5. Trebbiano Toscana
6. Mazuelo
7. Merlot
8. Cabernet Sauvignon
9. Monastrell
10. Bobal

The most planted varieties in 2010

1. Cabernet Sauvignon
2. Merlot
3. Airen
4. Tempranillo
5. Chardonnay
6. Syrah
7. Garnacha Tinta
8. Sauvignon Blanc
9. Trebbiano Toscano
10. Pinot Noir

According to the university’s researchers, these changes are largely the result of new consumption preferences, climate change and technological advances. Read more on

Leave a Reply

What's new

Here are the stories that are making the news this week. Use the top menu to see videos, tastings and our most recent newsletters.

Terre Nere – Number 1 wine of 2014
From vineyards high up on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, Terre Nere Etna Rosso has fast become one of our favourite…
3 Father’s Day gift ideas
If you’re on the hunt for something special this Father’s Day, below are our top 3 vinous gift ideas.… Read more
South Africa against the world – our grandest tasting yet
We are proud to announce our grandest tasting ever! In association with the Nederburg Auction, Wine Cellar… Read more
SA’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon?
Following the 5-star success of the previous vintage, Waterford Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 has been rated the… Read more
Eagles’ Nest shines at Shiraz SA Wine Challenge
Eagles’ Nest Shiraz 2012 has been recognised as one of the county’s finest by the Shiraz SA Wine Challenge.… Read more
Great expectations: Savage delivers again
Accomplished Cape Point Vineyards maestro Duncan Savage has just released his new Savage Wines. Now in year… Read more
South African harvest report: 2015
When placed in context, the wild fires that raged through Constantia earlier this year proved but a mild blemish… Read more