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Varietal vs single-varietal wines

Wine lovers often find it difficult to make their way through the wine lexicon. Here we discuss the differences between two easily confused terms: varietal and single-varietal. They refer to two different types of wines.

The word varietal describes a wine that is made from a dominant grape variety. For a wine to be varietally labelled, it must contain at least 80 per cent of the stated grape variety, the remaining 20 per cent corresponding to other varieties, depending on the coupage. Single-varietal means a wine is not a blend, that is, it is made from a single grape variety.

The difference is subtle but significant. In single-varietal wines, you get only the grape variety listed on the label: Cabernet, Syrah, Grenache, etc. 100 per cent. Nothing else. Thus, single-varietal wines express the potential of the type of grape they are made from.

At Familia Martínez Bujanda, we make both varietal and single-varietal wines. As an example of the latter, we can mention Petra de Valpiedra, made from Grenache grapes. Finca Valpiedra Reserva, on the other hand, is a varietal wine. It contains 90 per cent Tempranillo grapes, plus 10 per cent of other varieties (6 per cent Graciano and 4 per cent Maturana Tinta).

We hope you have found the distinction between varietal and single-varietal wines useful. You can now add the terms to your wine glossary and share your knowledge with your family and friends!

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