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and Rkatsiteli topped the list of the world’s most widely planted varieties two decades ago, they have since been superseded by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with other international varieties also making their way into the top ten.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.

Jancis Robinson on the 2013 Southern Rhônes
The 2013 vintage was challenging in the Southern Rhône and Grenache was badly affected by poor fruit set.… Read more
Tim Atkin on one of the Cape’s finest categories: white blends
‘South African white blends are some of the most exciting and best value wines in the New World,’ … Read more
Alain Graillot – The King of Crozes
Earlier this year we tasted 12 vintages of Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage. Not only did the tasting confirm… Read more
Wine Spectator reveals Top 100 list for 2014
Each year Wine Spectator publishes its Top 100 list, selecting the most thought-provoking wines out of the… Read more
Mouton Rothschild unveils 2012 label
Château Mouton Rothschild commissions a world-renowned artist to design the upper part of each new vintage’s… Read more
Richard Kershaw presents a Chardonnay & Syrah Masterclass
‘Our commitment is to make the best wines possible from the vine clones best suited to our unique terroir.’… Read more
Beaujolais is the new Burgundy: Foillard and Burgaud
Beaujolais has come a long way from the frivolous, fruity nouveau wines that gave rise to its present humble… Read more