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and Rkatsiteli topped the list of the world’s most widely planted varieties two decades ago, they have since been superseded by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with other international varieties also making their way into the top ten.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

Bordeaux 2014: Léovilles and Pessac-Leognan
All three Léovilles were released this week. Barton continues with its traditional, almost austere style… Read more
Jancis Robinson’s Pink Rethink
In one of her newer publications, the UK’s most distinguished wine critic Jancis Robinson sheds light on… Read more
A punchy Pinot for R95
Two Swartlanders, Jasper Wickens and Kyle Dunn, have discovered a parcel of delicious Pinot Noir from… Read more
The Christian Eedes Cab report 2015
The fourth annual Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report is now available. A line-up of 60 high-profile… Read more
Brilliant Gaja releases
Italy has enjoyed two excellent vintages of late; 2010 Barolo is a modern-day classic, while 2011 was better… Read more
Young Guns V Teaser: Tremayne
Roland and the team travel to the Swartland and Stellenbosch to bring you exclusive footage of this year’s… Read more
Bordeaux 2014: Pontet Canet, Calon Ségur and more
Pontet Canet is one of the biggest releases of the campaign so far, especially for Wine Cellar. We receive a large… Read...